A Karnes County explosion is responsible for injuring at least one person on Tuesday morning. A saltwater disposal well owned by Gulf Coast Acquisitions exploded at around 5 am, injuring an employee.
Officials closed a section of Highway 80 between Gillett and Nixon to prevent further injury. Although the fire is now contained, the situation is being monitored closely.
Firefighters from Gillett, Karnes, Kenedy, and Nixon fire departments worked for hours to extinguish the blaze. Officials say the fire is still burning. However, it is contained to a small area.
As reported by KVUE, the cause of the fire is being investigated. It appears that the explosion involved batteries, diesel tanks, and salt water containers.
The injured employee was taken by helicopter to a hospital in San Antonio. His name has not been released. However, witnesses say he is in his early 30s. The man reportedly lived in Gonzales County.
The man suffered serious burns in the Karnes County explosion, but his current condition is unknown.
Saltwater disposal wells are part of the fracking process. In addition to oil and natural gas, underground reservoirs also contain saltwater. The water is collected with the oil and gas. Once separated, the waste water is introduced back into the ground.
As reported by RRC.State.TX.US, the waste water is disposed of underground through an injection method. Saltwater disposal wells usually inject the waste water between layers of “unbroken, impermeable strata.”
The entire process has been criticized, as some people believe the injections can cause the earth to shift. Injection has been blamed for causing minor earthquakes worldwide. Oil companies contend the methods are safe.
The Karnes County disposal well is located 50 miles southeast of San Antonio in a rural area.
The Karnes County explosion site is being monitored closely. Although the fire is contained, officials want to prevent further injury.
[Image via Wikimedia]