Gas Leak Prompts Airspace Restrictions Over Southwestern Colorado

Naturita (AP) A natural gas well leak sent gas spewing into the air over southern Colorado today, prompting flight restrictions and evacuations. The leak is at Encana Oil and Gas about 20 miles west of Naturita.

A spokeswoman for the San Miguel County Sheriff says no gas has been detected beyond a 500 yard radius of the well, which is in the Hamilton Creek Gas Field, but federal aviation officials have closed airspace in a 15 mile radius up to 10,000 feet to keep aircraft from igniting the gas.

Encana spokesman Doug Hock says gas began leaking early this morning out of a cut in the steel casing that leads to the well's valve. He doesn't not know what caused the leak and says everyone but key personnel have been evacuated.

Hock says no one has been injured, and no homes or buildings are in danger.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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