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Area near natural gas blowout closed to residents, travelers

A white cloud of natural gas continued to spew from an Encana well in Karnes County on Wednesday.

About 20 people were evacuated from their homes as a precautionary measure, Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva said. The residents were moved to La Quinta Inn & Suites, where they remained Wednesday.

The blowout began about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at a well located near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 792 and County Road 343, about four miles east of Karnes City, according to a statement from Encana.

Workers were attempting to place tubing in the hole when a pressure buildup forced the tubing out of the hole, according to an incident report from the Railroad Commission of Texas. Water and gas shot 30 feet above the rig floor, according to the report.

In related news, South Texas oil well explodes, prompting evacuations

No injuries were reported.

Natural gas spewing from the well appeared to be traveling northwest, Villanueva said. Encana is monitoring the site for hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas with a rotten egg smell, according to the company’s statement.

Hydrogen sulfide can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system, and in high concentrations, it can cause unconsciousness, coma and death, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Encana was working to shut down the well on Wednesday.

Farm-to-Market 792 between Kenedy and Helena remained closed Wednesday, Villanueva said.

This article was written by Sara Sneath from Victoria Advocate, Texas and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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