Natural Gas Well Leak Prompts Evacuations

Apr 25, 2012

A natural gas leak 10 miles northeast of Douglas has caused dozens of residents to evacuate their homes.

The natural gas site, operated by Cheasapeake Energy, began leaking gas around 4pm yesterday, and by last night, Chesapeake official John Dill says area residents were notified that they should evacuate.

"We contacted approximately 67 residents in homes in about a 2.5 mile radius of this location, and asked them to consider a voluntary evacuation to area hotels, which is going to be paid for by the company," says Dill.

Of the approximately 67 residents contacted, Dill says about 50 relocated temporarily.

Dill also says no injuries occurred when the well began leaking, and that according to the companies air sampling of the area, things appear normal.

"We currently have a plan underway to prepare the necessary resources and equipment to bring this well under control, which we hope to do as quickly and as safely as conditions permit," says Dill. "We are still in a position of having to determine what the cause of this incident is and that is still under investigation."

Converse county emergency officials were unavailable or declined to comment on the event, and Dill says at this point there is no set timeline for when residents will be able to return to their homes, or when the leak will be under control.