BELLE VERNON, Pa. - An explosion at a natural gas well shot flames high into the air Thursday and injured five people, two seriously.
A crew of 17 was attempting to activate the new well at the Rostraver Airport by pouring water down a drilled hole when the blast occurred, said Joel Feldstein, a spokesman for the company that owns the well.
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A valve had accidentally opened and allowed gas to escape, said Betsy Mallison, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. The gas passed over machinery and vehicles, which apparently were hot enough to ignite the gas, she said.
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Firefighters battled the blaze for two hours at the airport about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.
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