Well blowout forces evacuation in Wayne County

WLOX News is following reports from Wayne County about a well blowout which is leaking hydrogen sulfide near the town of Clara.

According to a Mississippi Emergency Management Agency news release, a one mile radius around the site has been evacuated.  Seven homes are in the evacuation area.

All non-essential personnel are asked to stay out of the area due to the dangerous conditions created by the leaking gas.  Residents will be notified when it is safe to return to the area.

MEMA is providing portable radios to provide interoperable communication for first responders, MEMA and other responding agencies and companies. MEMA has also deployed an Area Coordinator to act as a liaison between the county, state and Escambia Operating Co., LLC and their contractors.

Air quality monitoring is also underway to ensure that the air is safe for public and those emergency responders working in the area.

The MEMA State Emergency Operations Center received a report of the incident shortly after 8:00 p.m. Thursday. There have not been any reports of any injures due to the incident.

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 and Wayne County Emergency Management have sent up an incident command post at the Clara Fire Department in order to manage the situation as attempts are made to stop the leak.

MEMA says 27 people had to be evacuated because of the leak.

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