HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — Thursday has becomes the second night in a row that dozens of East Texans are spending out of their homes.
A natural gas well blew out shortly before 5:30 a.m. Christmas Day about 9-10 miles southeast of Marshall in Harrison County, Texas.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The well is just off Newton Road, about a half mile east of where it intersects with Blocker Road. Even from that distance, it sounds like a large waterfall.
But residents say it sounded more like being on top of a jet engine Christmas morning, almost deafening and capable of being heard from miles away.
“Apparently, there’s a series of valves on something he referred to as a Christmas tree; and one of those valves failed," Harrison County sheriff’s Chief Deputy B.J. Fletcher recalled. "And that, we don’t know why. They’re still trying to figure that out.”
The Sheriff’s Office has urged anyone within a mile radius of the well to evacuate their homes.
And Tanos Exploration, which owns the well, is providing shelter at a nearby hotel and a daily allowance to the 45 or so people affected. Eligible is anyone who lives within a two-mile radius of the well and wants to evacuate.
Meantime, the company has hired a blowout team from Houston to come make repairs.
And Tanos Exploration is using air-monitoring devices throughout the perimeter to check whether the air quality remains safe, Fletcher said.
This could wind up being a five- to seven-day operation by the time everything is all said and done, KSLA News 12 has been told.