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Chevron Appalachia is offering residents living near the site of a natural gas well explosion in Dunkard Township, Greene County, a token of appreciation for their patience — a coupon for a free pizza and 2-liter drink at Bobtown Pizza. Chevron also said the company wanted to support a local business. (Photo courtesy of the Beaver County Times)

DUNKARD TWP. — In response to last week’s gas well fire in Greene County that burned for days and left one man injured and a West Virginia man missing, Chevron Appalachia is offering local residents a token of appreciation for their patience — a coupon for a free pizza and 2-liter drink.

“As part of our comprehensive response to the Lanco well fire that occurred last Tuesday, we have communicated with area residents to answer any questions or concerns,” Chevron spokeswoman Lee Ann Wainwright said Tuesday.

“Our operational response has included construction activity, resulting in increased traffic and congestion in the area,” Wainwright said. “As part of our meetings with a small group of immediate neighbors impacted by this activity, we have offered a token of appreciation for their patience during this time.

“We also wanted to support Bobtown Pizza, a local business that has been providing meals to our first-responders and workers at the well site. Chevron’s priorities remain responding to this incident safely. We appreciate the strong support we have received from nearby residents and our first-responders.”

The worker reported missing after the blast was identified by the Times Observer of Warren, who reported that friends held a candlelight vigil Thursday for Ian McKee, 27, originally from Warren but whose latest address is in Morgantown, W.Va.

McKee, an employee of Cameron International, a contractor to Chevron, was onsite when the gas well near Bobtown exploded last Tuesday morning, one of his friends told the Times Observer. Officials at a press conference Monday in Morgantown said that they continued to search for the man, who is feared to be dead and has not been identified by the company

“This is an extremely difficult time for our Chevron family and those who work for Cameron Surface Systems,” Chevron spokesman Trip Oliver said Monday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to (the missing employee’s) family and friends.”

Oliver said Monday if the missing employee is confirmed to have died in the explosion, it would be the first Marcellus operations-related fatality for Chevron.

A spokeswoman for Chevron said the company “cannot comment or speculate on the status or identity of our unaccounted for colleague” because of the ongoing state police investigation. She referred all questions to them. State police have said until they can get access to the site, they will not release the identity of the missing worker.

Wainwright said that about 30 residents who were not home or able to speak with a Chevron representative received the letter and voucher for free pizza.

Dated Feb. 16, it included a gift certificate for a special combo from Bobtown Pizza, which includes one large pizza and one two-liter drink. The gift certificate is said to come from Chevron Appalachia Community Outreach.

“…We wanted to provide you with a status update on the February 11 incident that occurred on Chevron Appalachia’s Lancoe (sic) 7H well pads in Dunkard Township and see if you had any questions or concerns we could address,” the letter said. “Chevron recognizes the effect this has had on the community. We value being a responsible member of this community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations. We are committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbors, our employees, our contractors and the environment.”

Bobtown Pizza co-owner Jim Scritchfield confirmed Tuesday that Chevron did buy 100 gift certificates. He also said the pizza parlor had given away food for free following the blast, including to the news media.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(1) comment


Such generosity.

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