CHENGDU -- Experts are studying a second plan to
cap a leaking gas well in southwest where more than 12,000 residents have been
evacuated, after a first sealing attempt failed early Sunday, local sources
Cao Yaofeng, vice president of China Petrochemical Corporation, and experts
from Beijing have arrived at the leaking well site in Sichuan Province and are
working on a second plan, said Zhang Chongyao, a spokesman of Xuanhan county
The leakage occurred around 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Qingxi No. 1 Gas Well in
Qingxi Town, Xuanhan County, according to Yu Longhai, an official with Dazhou
Emergency workers set fire in four sites 100 meters from around the leaking
well to alleviate the harmfulness of the gas, about three hours after the
More than 12,000 residents in eight villages were evacuated to safety, and no
casualties have been reported, said Yu.
The evacuated went to their relatives or were arranged to stay in township
government's meeting rooms, schools or broadcasting stations, according to Wang
Nengqiu, Magistrate of Xuanhan County.
A first capping plan, which was carried out at 1:10 a.m. Sunday, was
announced a failure due to complicated conditions under the well.
"About 300 cubic meters of mud was infused into the well in the first
capping, but no effect is achieved," said He Shenghou, deputy chief of the
emergency headquarters at the site.
Flames of fires are still 20 to 30 meters high around the well, according to
Tests of leaked gas contained no sulfureted hydrogen, which is harmful to
people, local environmental authorities said, adding that sulfur dioxide was not
found either in the air.
More than 400 primary and middle school students, who were evacuated in the
accident, will resume classes on Monday, according to local education
Residents who live 500 meters or further from the well began to go back home
Sunday afternoon and those within a radius of 500 meters around the well will
continue to stay where they are, according to town government officials.
The emergency headquarters have not decided when to carry out the second
Xuanhan County, about 500 kilometers northeast of Chengdu, capital of
Sichuan, is one of China's important proven natural gas bases. The country has
begun to pour huge investment into the development of its rich gas resource.