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Explosion, fire rage through natural gas compressor station

This May 2011 photograph shows the compressor station at the mouth of Dry Canyon on the side of Nine Mile Canyon Road.

By JOHN SERFUSTINI
Sun Advocate associate editor

Choppers medevac injured workers from remote site in Nine Mile Canyon

An explosion and fire ripped through a natural gas compressor station in remote eastern Carbon County Tuesday morning, injuring two workers and engulfing the entire facility in flame. The injured workers were evacuated by medical helicopters to the University of Utah Burn Center.

Fire fighting units from every city in Carbon County responded. Wellington was the first department to arrive and called for backup from Price, Helper and East Carbon/Sunnyside.

The compressor station is at the mouth of Dry Canyon, an offshoot of Nine Mile Canyon, about 30 road miles from Price. It is owned and operated by Bill Barrett Corporation, which has an extensive natural gas development project in the area.

Jim Felton, spokesman for Bill Barrett, reported that the fire was contained but not extinguished as of 1 p.m. Felton said that all gas wells in the area had been shut down and all employees were accounted for.

Felton confirmed that the main compressor station and several other buildings at the site were consumed in the blaze. He added that there were no spills or leaks of natural gas or liquids off the site.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but it is under investigation.

As of Sun Advocate deadline Tuesday, fire fighters and deputy sheriffs were still at the scene.

Although Nine Mile Canyon is world-famous for its trove of ancient Native American art and artifacts, the compressor station and other natural gas facilities are far removed from archaeological sites.

The names of the two injured workers were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.




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