According to reports from news outlets in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, there was an explosion at a gas pipeline in Salem Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, around 8:30 a.m. this morning. The explosion occurred near Route 22 and Route 819 in Salem Township.
Photographs from folks close to the site show flames shooting above the treetops. Witnesses are also reporting that there was a shock wave from the explosion. One person is reported as having been badly burned. (Let’s hope that the burn victim is okay.). Although the gas has allegedly been shut off, the flames will apparently continue as the remaining gas is allowed to burn off. Here is a link to a news story: Report from WTAE News regarding the Gas Pipeline Explosion in Westmoreland County
I grew up in North Bethlehem Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, before the Marcellus Shale boom hit the area. Back then, I did not see a single oil and gas drilling rig. In only a decade, that all changed. Now, seeing the oil and gas companies dotting the landscape of Washington County with drilling rigs is commonplace–just as it is in a lot of other counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. In fact, there is a well site not far from the house where I was raised. Over the past several years, the oil and gas companies have started to tap into the gas found in the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale. The Marcellus Shale is found in states such as Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. (Along with the oil and gas companies came the workers. It’s now very common to see roughnecks, roustabouts, drillers, toolpushers, rig managers, company men, mud loggers, rig hands, oilfield service company employees, etc. in the area.).