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Gas Well Incident Leaves One Dead

A natural gas well accident that occurred Tuesday afternoon left a Richie County man dead. According to various news reports, the accident occurred while an individual was working for the Ronald Lane Pipeline Construction Company near North Bunner Ridge Road in Marion County, West Virginia.

Early reports indicate that a "pig" was being run through a line to remove water or pressure. According to reports, during this procedure, a malfunction in equipment caused an explosion sending a piece of equipment into the man's head. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the incident.

There are three basic types of natural gas pipelines. These include transmission pipelines, gathering pipelines, and distribution pipelines. Unfortunately, natural gas incidents are not uncommon. The U.S. department of Transportation, Pipeline, and Hazardous Material Safety Administration data shows that 155 incidents happen yearly related to distribution pipelines.

Most drilling operations run 24 hours a day once established. According to OSHA statistics, most gas well injuries occur in the following ways:

· Explosion and fires

· Vehicle accidents

· Caught in/struck by/ caught between equipment

· Falls

· Chemical exposures

Gas well work can pose significant risks. Because of the risks it is important that companies follow federal and state regulations as well as accepted safety practices within the industry.

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