Child Injured In Gas Well Explosion

A gas well explosion left a child injured and an eastern Kentucky road closed for hours.

Emergency crews say the explosion happened at a natural gas well just before 6:00 p.m. Tuesday along Highway 421 in Leslie County.

Emergency crews called out fire departments from across the county to deal with the explosion in the Big Branch area of Leslie County.

“We had some officials from Somerset Oil who were here working on their equipment and we had an oil well explode,” Director Of Emergency Management, James Couch said.

The initial explosion left trees and brush in the area singed and smoking.

Police say a man in a pick up truck was driving by at the time of the explosion and his passenger,14-year-old Latisha Estep, was burned.

“There was a juvenile in the car that was (hurt). It went through the cracks of the vehicle or something, and they are the hospital at this time,” Leslie County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Morgan said.

After the initial fire was put out, firefighters and emergency crews had to figure out the best way to put out the fire still burning INSIDE the natural gas well.

“It was a pretty big fire, now the well is on fire and we're getting ready to try and put it out. We have several agencies and fire departments on the scene. We are trying to get this thing under control,” Couch said.

Fire crews used foam and water to put out the fire inside the well.

Highway 421 has reopened.

Estep went to the hospital but is now back home.

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