(11/02/2003)
Dominion Resource's corporate spokespeople have been tight-lipped about what happened at the Hastings Station Extraction Plant near Pine Grove in Wetzel County yesterday.

Wetzel County 911 received a call at 11:50 a.m. Friday regarding an explosion at the facility, which recently underwent $85 million in improvements.

Regional gas producers and suppliers have been advised the plant will be down, and asked that gas be shut-in. (See earlier story on the Hur Herald) Nearly all the gas sent out of Calhoun County goes through Hastings.

Residents near the plant said they heard one large explosion and two smaller explosions.

Virtually every fire unit in Wetzel County was dispatched to the scene.

Dominion employees dedicated an $85 million renovation project at the facility on Sept. 29 that would allow the plant to process all the gases in one location that previously were processed at four different sites.

The expansion was to increase the plant's capacity by 33 percent.

The Hastings plant opened in 1902 as a compressor station for the Hope Natural Gas Co.

It now separates extracted liquids into propane, normal butane, isobutane, and natural gas using electronic controls.


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