MEMA: Residents returning home after well leak in Wayne County


The Wayne County Emergency Management Agency and Escambia Operating Company LLC report a gas well leaking hydrogen sulfide has been stopped and the well is secure.  In the 36 hours since the free flow of gas from the well was stopped air quality monitoring indicates the area is safe. Officials say all the evacuated residents have returned to their homes.

A 1-mile radius around the site was evacuated affecting seven homes and 27 residents following the July 19 leak.

"It took a lot of teamwork and a large coordinated effort to stop this leak and secure the well," said Wayne County Emergency Management Director Todd Cleary.  "We are thankful that nobody was injured and that our residents can now safely return home."

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board all supported the response to the leak.

Hydrogen sulfide is a poisonous, flammable gas which gives off the smell of rotten eggs. It can deaden a person's sense of smell so a potential victim may be unaware of its presence.

Escambia Operating Co., LLC says it is launching an investigation to determine the cause of the leak.  The company says cleanup will begin as soon as possible.