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Natural Gas Explosions and Contaminated Water From Fracking Accidents

Not sure what fracking is?  Here’s a story that appeared on CBS 60 Minutes.

If your family gets its drinking water from a rural water well, you must be aware of the potential for explosions and contaminated water.

Fracking is not a new method of drilling for natural gas, but its dangers to citizens and our environment are becoming more prevalent.  Known by names including hydraulic fracturing and hydrofracking, it is a way to get natural gas out of the earth.  An oil well is drilled, and then huge amounts of water plus sand, salt and chemicals are forced in to the well.  The tremendous pressure fractures the shale deep underground and opens pathways that enable natural gas to flow out of the well more easily.

There are two types of fracking:

  1. Vertical fracking extends the life of an existing well after it starts being less productive.
  2. Horizontal fracking is more extreme because it uses a combination of 596 chemical –­­ hundreds of them know to cause cancer – and millions of gallons of water each time a well is fracked.  After fracking, this contaminated water is now unfit for consumption and must be cleaned and disposed of.

Some of the personal injury problems your family might have with fracking are:

  • Contaminated drinking water from rural wells – After the drilling company pours thousands of gallons of chemical-filled water into a hole, it’s got to go somewhere.  And that is likely the water table where rural homes receive their daily drinking and bathing water.  It can be dangerous to drink and harmful to bathe in.
  • Long-term injury — cancer-causing chemicals
    • You should also be aware that cancer-causing agents (carcinogens)  are used in fracking.  In fact, fracking products used between 2005 and 2009  contain 13 different known carcinogens.   And Oklahoma ranked third on the list (behind Texas and Colorado) of states in which the most gallons of fracking fluids containing a carcinogen were used.  That means, cancer-causing chemicals were pumped under our soil and pushed into the earth, where they could easily come into contact with our drinking water supply.
    • Also, Oklahoma is number two (ranking after Texas) in states with the highest volume of fracking fluids containing 2-BE (2-Butoxyethanal).  2-BE can cause destruction of red blood cells and damage to the liver, spleen and bone marrow.
    • Between 2005 and 2009, the 14 leading U.S. fracking companies used more than 2,500 products containing 750 compounds. More than 650 of these products contained chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants.
    • To read the fracking report from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce from April 2011, click here to download the PDF.
  • Natural gas coming out of the faucet and causing an explosion – The natural gas that is released due to fracking starts deep in the earth, and is pushed up into the water table.  Here it flows upward with the water until it reaches your kitchen sink or bathtub or garden hose.   Tragically, an ordinary garden hose can be turned in to a firey torch.  This same dangerous fire happen in your kitchen or well house or anywhere there is a faucet.

Want to read a bit more on fracking? 

If your family or friends live near an area where wells are being contaminated by fracking, and have had some of these problems, give Carr & Carr Attorneys a call at 877-392-4878 or email today. With offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, our lawyers can assist you if you live in Oklahoma, while our Northwest Arkansas injury attorneys can assist you if you live near Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers or Bentonville or anywhere in Arkansas.

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A fire last night near Coalgate on an oil drilling rig, which killed two young oilfield workers and critically injured two others, highlights the dangers that roughnecks face on a daily basis.  The fire happened around midnight Thursday on the rig which is located about two miles west of Coalgate in Coal County, between Ada and Atoka.  Officials… Read More


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