- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A natural gas fracking well that is leaking uncontrollably has kept 25 families from their homes for three days in eastern Ohio.

The Monroe County well had been temporarily plugged while work was done elsewhere onsite. But when workers tried to resume production operations Saturday, the well began to flow uncontrollably.

The families were evacuated from houses within a 1.5-mile radius of the well, located near the Ohio River, about 160 miles east of Columbus, the Columbus Dispatch reported Wednesday (https://bit.ly/1uY3csR).

The well is not on fire, but the gas could be explosive, said Bethany McCorkle, a spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources.

“This whole situation is uncommon in general,” McCorkle told the paper. “A full investigation will give us more information as to what happened, what led up to the incident and why there was so much pressure.”

The well is operated by Triad Hunter, a subsidiary of Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. that also has offices in Marietta in southeastern Ohio.

The well had been temporarily plugged about a year ago while three more wells were drilled and fracked on the site, the company said in a statement.

“Despite numerous precautionary measures taken in connection with the temporary plugging and abandonment operation, the well began to flow uncontrollably while recommencing production operations,” the company said.

In October, about 400 homes near Wintersville in eastern Ohio were evacuated after a nearby fracking operation sprung a leak and began shooting invisible gaseous discharge into the air.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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