Monday, March 06, 2017

Years after water well explosion, Texas family still waiting for answers from agency

More than two and a half years have passed since Cody and Ashley Murray’s water well exploded, transforming their Palo Pinto County ranch into an emergency scene. With their burns healed and gone to scars, the couple and their two young children have since returned to their 160 acres outside of Perrin, about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth. The Murrays still lack a trusted source of local drinking water. And they're still waiting for answers about whether nearby gas production was to blame for the fireball that shot toward Cody’s face that August day — and why the Texas Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, seemed to miss signs warning that something like that could happen in their cattle-and-pumpjack-sprinkled slice of the Barnett Shale. Outside experts have linked the explosion to nearby gas drilling. The Railroad Commission won’t comment on details of its investigation, other to confirm that it remains open. The blast was caused by a buildup of methane gas in the water well that caused enough pressure to send water spraying in the family's pump house. Ashley Murray turned off the well pump and asked her husband to investigate, and when he turned it back on, the gas exploded, severely burning Cody, his father Jim; and Alyssa, Cody’s 4-year-old daughter. Cody Murray took the brunt of the flames; with burns on his arms, upper back, neck, forehead and nose, the former oilfield worker spent a week in a burn unit...more

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