- Associated Press - Saturday, February 17, 2018

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A spokeswoman for a company whose natural gas well exploded and caught fire in eastern Ohio says high winds are hindering experts from shutting down the well.

XTO Energy’s Karen Matusic says outside experts managed to clear debris from the well pad Saturday morning but had to retreat because of high winds. The newly drilled well being readied for production exploded Thursday morning in Belmont County sending a plume of gas and brine into the air before igniting.

Matusic says the experts brought in from Texas and Oklahoma must wait for the wind to subside to begin shut-down work.

Residents from around 30 homes evacuated after the explosion haven’t been able to return.

Two dozen XTO workers were on the pad when it exploded. No injuries were reported.

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