Oil rig blow-out: Incident leaves 1 person dead; 400 barrels of oil sprayed out

Oil rig blow-out: Incident leaves 1 person dead; 400 barrels of oil sprayed out by Jenna Ebersole, August 17, 2012, Williston Herald
One man was killed during the evacuation of a rig blow-out that shot a mist of roughly 400 barrels of oil and 400 barrels of salt water across fields southeast of Williston, officials said. Jason Pinasco, 39, of Higden, Ariz. was struck while on foot by a vehicle being removed from the location off County Road 11-A just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a Williams County Sheriff’s Office press release. The blow-out occurred Tuesday night at about 11 p.m. and continued through Wednesday evening when efforts to bring it entirely under control succeeded by about 6:30 p.m., officials said. Counts on exactly how much was spilled are only rough at this point as cleanup continues, Health Department Environmental Scientist Kris Roberts said, but he said a risk of contamination will continue. The contaminated area extends three quarters of a mile to the northwest and close to a full mile to the southeast, he said. “We’ve got a couple of agricultural fields that have been impacted,” Roberts said. “All the vegetation will be removed and then we will go back and sample the soil beneath the plume area.” The situation becomes more serious, Roberts said, if the contaminants reach the soil – or even worse, the water. … “I heard like a popping sound and the next thing you know it was like a volcano,” well worker Ryan Stevens said.

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