1 of 2 gas wells sealed in Pa. after fatal blast

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DILLINER, Pa. (AP) - Crews have capped a southwestern Pennsylvania gas well that exploded and caught fire earlier this month, killing a worker, Chevron says.

Officials say the well that caught fire Feb. 11 in Greene County’s Dunkard Township was capped Sunday. Crews are now working to cap an adjacent well that caught fire three days later.

The second well should be sealed by Wednesday, Kelly Burch of the state Department of Environmental Protection told The (Washington) Observer-Reporter.

After that, officials said, the firm hired to cap the wells will assess the integrity of a third well and do any necessary repairs, part of which might involve flaring of gas.

Plugs are to be installed as protective barriers about 8,000 feet below the surface in all three wells to prevent gas pressure from reaching the well head.

“The continuing well intervention efforts involve many steps and have to be executed in a precise, controlled, methodical manner,” Chevron said in a statement Sunday. “We are working to be efficient in our efforts to minimize the duration; however, the safety of the workers and operations will determine the appropriate pace.”

The blast killed Ian McKee, 27, a field service technician for Houston-based Cameron International who was working at the pad when the fire broke out, officials said.

Monitoring at the site still shows no dangerous levels of pollution in the air from leaking gas, said Greg Leather, director of the Greene County Emergency Management Agency.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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