Explosion at Compressor Station in Susquehanna County Yesterday

Homes shook as far as a half-mile away and a hole was blown in the roof of the complex holding the engines when the Lathrop compressor station off Route 29 in Susquehanna County exploded yesterday morning at 11 a.m.

Black and gray clouds billowed from the building for several hours, but there were no injuries and damage was contained to the site. Gas was prevented from entering or leaving the compressors by automated emergency shutdown procedures, isolating and minimizing the incident.  Emergency procedures were immediately activated, local authorities and first responders were notified and all personnel were evacuated.

The station, which was sold to Williams Partners, LP by Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. as part of a deal announced in 2010 which also included a second compressor station and 75 miles of the natural gas drilling company’s gathering pipelines, is responsible for pressurizing and dehydrating natural gas from Marcellus Shale wells in the county.   It is then transported through interstate pipelines, bringing the gas to market.

The station was moving approximately 365 million cubic feet of gas per day before it was shut down.  The Dept. of Environmental Protection was alerted to the explosion at around 11:30 a.m. and spent the morning monitoring air quality around the site.  According to spokeswoman Colleen Connolly, there is no danger to the public.

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