FLEMINGTON, W.Va. -- A worker was killed Friday in an explosion at an EQT Corp. natural gas production site in Taylor County, officials said.
Cpl. C. Willis, a Harrison County 911 dispatcher, said an EQT employee originally reported an explosion at a well site near Flemington after finding a water truck driver at the site dead from apparent head trauma.
Kathy Cosco, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the incident at an EQT natural gas well pad appeared to have occurred while an employee was attempting to transfer briny wastewater from an on-site tank to a truck.
"We are told it was a flash explosion that killed the employee, destroyed the tank and damaged the truck nearby," Cosco said. "Initial reports are that the tank contained brine and that the material in the tank spilled and there is likely hydraulic fluid from the truck on the ground, too."
Cosco said the source of the ignition was not immediately clear.
Mary K. Singleton, who lives about a mile away, said her house shook at 6:45 a.m.
"I heard an explosion, but didn't know what it was," Singleton said. "You never know around here.
"I got up and made sure the house was all right, but couldn't see anything," she said. "I didn't know what's going on. I asked my husband, 'You suppose it was a meteor?'"
The Flemington Volunteer Fire Department, Taylor County Sheriff's Department and Taylor County emergency crews were dispatched. Willis said the body of the victim was taken to Grafton City Hospital.