More than 450 people evacuated after gas leak at Columbiana Co. well pad

an unconventional oil and gas drilling rig sits in a green field in eastern Ohio

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management is responding to a natural gas release from a well in Columbiana County, Gov. Mike DeWine announced in a press release July 11.

The incident happened on the Tarka Pad on Fairfield School Road near Columbiana. ODNR is coordinating with local first responders, the operator of the well, Hilcorp Energy Company, Ohio EPA and oil and gas emergency contractors to mitigate the situation.

Hilcorp Energy Company reported that a third-party contractor struck a well head on the pad around 9 a.m. July 11. Emergency shut-down devices for the remaining 12 wells on the pad were activated and all remaining wells and pipelines are shut-in.

Hilcorp secured the services of a well control specialist who is anticipated on site Tuesday evening to begin operations to regain control of the well, according to the release.

Local emergency management officials instituted a one-mile evacuation zone shortly after the incident occurred and more than 450 people have been safely evacuated.  No injuries have been reported.

Ohio EPA is on-scene providing incident support.

Baseline air monitoring is occurring and will continue until the situation is under control. Any updates regarding evacuations will be made by local emergency management officials.

ODNR will continue to work with all state and local authorities to monitor the situation until the operator regains control of the well.

The Ohio Department of Health recommends always following the instructions and recommendations of firefighters, first responders and public health officials.

What to know

Unless you are ordered to evacuate, residents are urged to stay in inside with the doors and windows closed. If you can close the fresh air intake of your air conditioning system, do so.

If you are experiencing unusual shortness of breath, dizziness, or clumsiness that you believe may be related to this release contact a healthcare provider.

Hilcorp Energy Company established a claims hotline for anyone impacted by the evacuation at 877-872-1288.


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