Follow-up to: Officials concerned pressure may build to "explosive concentrations" in aquifer near giant sinkhole -- Geologists say top layer may not hold back gas if above 75 psi -- New footage of area (VIDEO)
Title: Gas trapped near sinkhole
Source: The Advocate
Author: David J. Mitchell
Date: October 07, 2012
In 2001, in Hutchinson, Kan. [...] natural gas also became trapped underground.
[... it] caused a major downtown explosion, fires elsewhere and two fatalities, according to a Kansas Geological Survey report and Louisiana regulatory files. [...]
The blast, on Jan. 17, 2001, stemmed from an old uncapped brine well forgotten inside the downtown store that once was part of a turn-of-the-20th century spa.
Seven miles away, propane had escaped, unknown, through a failed well casing tied to the Yaggy field salt storage cavern belonging to Oneok Inc., of Tulsa, Okla.
The propane moved through the underground Milan Limestone formation, which tilted upward from the cavern toward Hutchinson, a city of almost 41,000 then, until the gas found the old well.
An overhead furnace in the party store provided the ignition source, Forbes said. The explosion set fire to neighboring Woody’s Furniture Store, also part of the old spa.
The gas continued to move under the town, finding other old wells in an area once heavily solution-mined for salt, sparking a trailer fire that killed two people the next day and shooting geysers of water 100 feet high.
“Though it is still too soon to draw final conclusions on the source of the gas occurring in the Bayou Corne area, it can certainly be observed that it has shown neither flammable concentrations or pressure.” -DNR spokesman Patrick Courreges
Published: October 7th, 2012 at 8:47 pm ET