A incident involving a gas well spewing fluids occurred late Tuesday night in LeRoy Township, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith said today.

Gary Wilcox, the county's director of public safety, said there was no fire or explosion at the Chesapeake well site. He said, "They lost control of the well, there was a malfunction in something. They did lose pressure in the well, which caused material to come back up. They were fracing, so whatever material they were using when they were fracing is what came back up." He didn't know what type of materials they were.

The material went into the containment area, and into a field and into a tributary of Towanda Creek and into Towanda Creek, he said. "I'm not sure of the amount of gallons that went into the creek," he said.

He said there is no adverse effects to the streams or waterways, however, and DEP is monitoring and taking samples. NO one from DEP was immediately available to confirm Wilcox's comment about the effect on the waterways.

Brian Grove, director of corporate development, for Chesapeake, said early this afternoon the incident occurred because of an equipment failure. He issued the following statement:

“At approximately 11:45 p.m. on April 19, an equipment failure occurred during well-completion activities, allowing the release of completion fluids from a well at a location in Leroy Township, Bradford County, Pa. He called it a blowback.
 
Crews are on location working to control the leak and contain the fluid flow. All relevant emergency agencies have been notified and are either on location or en route. Well-control specialists Boots and Coots have been mobilized and are prepared to respond if necessary. All non-essential vehicles have been removed from the location.  An undetermined amount of water has flowed off the location. Crews are working to minimize any impacts to the nearby Towanda Creek.
 
As a precautionary measure, seven families who live near the location have been temporarily relocated until all agencies involved are confident the situation has been contained. There have been no injuries or natural gas emissions to the atmosphere.”