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Workers sue driller for injuries in Pa. blaze

May 14, 2011
The Herald-Star

AVELLA, Pa. (AP) - Two workers injured in a fiery explosion during testing at a natural gas-drilling site in southwestern Pennsylvania are suing the drilling firm and two subcontractors.

News reports say 50-year-old Richard Lancaster, of Sardis, Ohio, and 36-year-old Frank Lancaster, of New Martinsville, W.Va. filed the suit in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County, W.Va.

The men were working for a trucking firm that is not being sued, and are blaming Chesapeake Appalachia for the fire at the well near Avella, about 25 miles west of Pittsburgh.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has said the driller failed to properly manage flammable byproducts before the Feb. 23 fire in which five 500-barrel storage tanks of the liquid condensate ignited, but has yet to say if fines are warranted. A Chesapeake spokeswoman declined to comment at this time.

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