Compressor Station Explosion in Susquehanna County, PA

A natural gas compressor station located in Susquehanna County, PA owned and operated by Williams Partners experienced an explosion yesterday morning that blew a hole in the roof of the complex. There were no injuries and the automated emergency shutdown kicked in preventing gas from entering or leaving the station.

An explosion at a natural gas compressor station in Susquehanna County on Thursday morning blew a hole in the roof of the complex holding the engines, shaking homes as far as a half-mile from the compressor complex and drawing emergency responders from nearby counties.

The 11 a.m. blast at the Lathrop compressor station off Route 29 in Springville Township sent black and gray clouds billowing from the building for several hours, but the damage was contained to the site and no one was injured, said a spokeswoman for Williams Partners LP, which owns the Lathrop station.

Automated emergency shutdown procedures stopped gas from entering or leaving the compressors, and Williams will do a full investigation of the cause and damage as soon as it is safe to go back into the building, Williams spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said.

"The emergency shutdown equipment did work properly to isolate and minimize the incident," she said. "Emergency procedures were immediately activated. That included notifying local authorities and first responders, and evacuating all personnel."*

*Wilkes-Barre (PA) The Citizens’ Voice (Mar 30, 2012) – Explosion reported at Susquehanna compressor station