- Associated Press - Sunday, October 15, 2017

VELMA, Okla. (AP) - Some residents of Velma have returned to their homes after a leak in a natural gas well forced them to evacuate.

Velma Fire Chief Jay Dumas said Saturday that a buildup of pressure caused the Stephens County well head to fail, releasing toxic hydrogen sulfide gas into the air.

Firefighters who monitored the gas found lethal concentrations surrounding the site and evacuations were ordered northwest of the well. Officials say a state highway in the area was also closed for about three miles.

Officials say fire crews worked to suppress the gas leak with water before capping off the well. Dumas say the situation was brought under control Saturday afternoon and the evacuations were lifted.

The number of people evacuated was not immediately available. No injuries were reported.


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