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Well pad explosion, fire forces evacuations in Powhatan Point area

Mandatory evacuations orders are in place for residents in the Powhatan Point area after an explosion and fire at a well pad.

Mandatory evacuations orders are in place for residents in the Powhatan Point area after an explosion and fire at a well pad.

It happened off State Route 148 and has drawn first responders from all over the county.

There is a mandatory 1-mile evacuation radius from the well pad on Cat’s Run Road for local residents that may be expanding as the day goes on.

The hiss of natural gas, along with a rumbling, can be heard, and the smoke can be seen.

An XTO spokesperson says at approximately 9 a.m., XTO lost containment on a gas well pad on Cat’s Run. Emergency response procedures were activated and the site itself has been evacuated with the exception of response team personnel.

Locally, there are police from many different agencies and Belmont County EMA has set up a staging area next to the golf course.

“They called and said that they had an actual explosion with no fire at the well pad,” Powhatan Point Fire Chief Thomas Nelms said. “So we came out to see what we had. We were here about a half hour, and actually now we have a fire on a well pad.

“We’re going to evacuate a 1-mile radius of this area, and they’re going to go to the city building, and they’re going to disperse to five different places people can stay: Nazarene Church, Masonic Temple and a couple of other places.”

Officials say there isn’t a quick fix for this issue. It could be a day, or days before the leak is contained.

They’re asking residents who are forced to evacuate to report to the Powhatan Village building where more information will be given to them.

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