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Chevron settles fatal well fire lawsuit for $5 million

Energy giant Chevron agreed to pay $5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a contract worker killed last year when fire engulfed a Greene County shale gas well.

An Allegheny County judge this month approved the settlement of the case brought by the family of Ian McKee, 27, of Warren, according to court documents filed this week.

The majority of the money will go into a trust for McKee’s son, who was born after McKee died in February 2014, court documents state.

In a statement, San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron said the settlement “enables all parties to move forward.”

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of Ian McKee,” the company said. “Protecting people and the environment is a core value for Chevron, and we are determined to prevent an incident like this from happening again.”

State regulators blamed an unnamed, inexperienced worker at Chevron’s site in Dunkard for loosening a bolt without proper supervision that likely caused the well to leak and catch fire. The Department of Environmental Protection also criticized Chevron for a lack of oversight on the Lanco well pad before the incident, and poor communication with state officials in the hours and days afterward.

The fire killed McKee, a field service technician for Cameron International Corp., as he and another worker ran to the wellhead in response to a hissing sound.

In related news, Chevron sells more Marcellus land.

This article was written by DAVID CONTI from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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