Drilling rig hits natural gas pocket at OA construction site

By WBNG News

February 10, 2014 Updated Feb 12, 2014 at 10:59 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Owego Apalachin School District took precautions to keep students and staff away from a drilling rig fire at the site of the new Owego Elementary school.

According to OA Public Information Coordinator Stephen Jensen, the rig is on site for work on a geothermal heating system for the new school. The rig hit a pocket of natural gas that ignited a fire in the rig.

The rig is owned by American Auger and Ditching of Constantia.

Departments from Owego, Newark Valley and Campville responded to the scene along with Tioga County HAZMAT and NYSEG.

According to the incident commander, Steve Solomon a water supply was set up and crews plan to let the fire burn itself out.

Fire officials will work in shifts to monitor the burn.

The district dismissed all classes on time. Owego Free Academy students went through Owego-Apalachin Middle School to get to their buses. Walkers and those who drive to school were told not to linger on campus.

All after-school activities were canceled except for the boys’ varsity playoff basketball game against Susquehanna Valley. That game is scheduled to start at 6:30 pm at Owego Free Academy.

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