Explosions and heavy smoke at Mercer Co. gas well fire

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) – Fire crews worked for several hours Friday night to contain a fire at a gas well in Mercer County.

Reports started coming in to the newsroom and our Report It tab around 8 p.m. about three loud explosions on Pew Rd.

One witness said smoke from the fire could be seen for miles.Mercer County officials said two half-tankers caught fire containing the equivalent of about 200 barrels of oil.

Pew Road and Golf Road were shut down at crews battled the fire.

Online reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection name the well as the Jefferson McGhee site, owned by Hilcorp Energy.

Initial drilling and operating permits were issued in 2013. Violations at the well site were noted as early as March 2014.

Hilcorp Energy issued a statement Saturday saying that two storage tanks used to hold condensate caught fire on the well pads at the site.

“The appropriate local and state authorities were immediately notified and local first responders were on location shortly after the call. There were no injuries and the fire only lasted approximately forty-five minutes. We are in the process investigating the cause which remains undetermined at this time,” company officials stated.

More than a dozen fire departments responded to the scene.

No one was injured.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating.

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