Denton responders work gas well pipe emergency

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David Minton/DRC
Vapor shoots from a natural gas well owned by Eagle Ridge Operating LLC in the 600 block of Jim Christal Rd near Denton Enterprise Airport, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Denton, TX.
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A Denton hazardous materials unit was at a site for nearly five hours in the 600 block of Jim Christal Road after a gas well pipe separated from the well Friday morning, authorities said.

Lindsey Baker, spokeswoman for the city of Denton, said the separation caused fracking water and small traces of natural gas to leak from the pipe.

The first call came in about 11 a.m., she said, and authorities evacuated four homes as a precaution.

The well is owned by Eagle Ridge Operating LLC.

Air traffic was redirected until any safety hazards were corrected, Baker said. Denton Enterprise Airport is less than five miles from the leak.

Denton police closed the intersections of Jim Christal at Masch Branch Road and Jim Christal at Western Boulvard for more than four hours to detour traffic from the area, said Ryan Grelle, spokesman for the Denton Police Department.

Crews from the gas company appeared at the site to cap the well at about 1 p.m., Baker said.

Brad Lahart, spokesman for the Denton Fire Department, said the gas company needed to make sure there was enough water before actively getting started.

The leak was capped at about 3:40 p.m. Friday, he said.

What appeared to some as smoke at the scene was actually water vapor mixed in with some hydrocarbons, Lahart said.

People from the Texas Railroad Commission were at the site monitoring the capping and will perform an investigation to make sure the site was properly kept up, according to city officials.

“Right now, we don’t know what caused the separation but the separation is what caused the leak,” Baker said.

Denton firefighters and paramedics remained at the scene to monitor the situation.

People from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality arrived at the scene later in the day and took air samples for testing, officials said.

Lahart said there has been no danger to anyone because of the leak and no injuries were reported.

“The city will have continuous involvement with the ongoing investigation every step of the way,” Lahart said.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.


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