Crews continue to work on the Starks gas leak - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Crews continue to work on the Starks gas leak

By Charlie Bartlett - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Crews were up early to replace the damaged valve which leaked dangerous gas among the Starks area.

"The valve is still unrepaired. It is blowing high pressure salt water and they're planning to plug the well so the new valve can be installed," said Tom Cummings.

Conditions at the well site have gotten better overnight. DEQ says they have brought in the necessary equipment to fix the valve, but in order to do that, they had to bring in a special team from Houston.

"They are specialists in securing and capping these kinds of wells. They must have lifting equipment and means to plug so they can align the new valve up to the flange to the caisson. They will be able to tighten these bolts that squeeze the seal shut and then they are able to turn the valve and close it," said Cummings.

While the valve is only blowing out salt water, crews are taking extra precautions because of possible safety hazards.

"It's high pressure saltwater rushing out and they have to be careful and not get struck by the stream. Its heavy work and it has to be done accurately and carefully," said Cummings.

Crews have done work all day but the company who operates the well head says the valve won't be fixed today.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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