First Posted 18:29:00 06/20/2014
Yesterday, 19 June 2014 at around 2:15 in the afternoon, we flow tested well BN-4 after series of gas bleeding for several days. While the well was discharging gas and while waiting for the steam to flow, people working in the area were evacuated to a higher and safer ground to avoid possible inhalation of gas. Several minutes after reaching the safer ground, our gas detector started to beep, hence, the team started to move out in a safer area. At this juncture, my colleague started to fell down one after the other.
After rescuing the victims, Johannes Smari Porarinsson, Porstein Sigmarsson, Kevin Hasler, Armando Licup, Noland Maceda, Honey Rhoey Romero, Lee Marvin Moran and Victoriano Rosario were sent to Biliran Provincial Hospital for check-up and treatment. Jesusito Nimo did not undergone check-up.
Of the eight victims, three are member of the HSES team. They are Kevin Hasler, Honey Rhoey Romero and Lee Marvin Moran who had longer exposure in the area because of their nature of work, which is to rescue. The first two patients were sent to Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu by chopper for further check-up while Lee Marvin was sent to Ormoc Doctors Hospital also for further check-up. All these three has an asthmatic history. As of 11:30 AM today, it was reported to us that the above-mentioned names are in good condition. Jesusito Nimo requested a medical check-up today.
In the case of the above activity, several layers of protection were in place to protect and/or mitigate any unforeseen event that could harm the workers. These are:
- Limit the number of workers in the area
- Install gas sensor at the well head and carry gas individual detector
- Install windsock to guide the worker of the prevailing wind direction
- Place the ambulance (with first aider/medical rescuer) at an eye distance equipment with necessary rescue gears
- Presence of the kill pump with crew.
- All of the above precautions were successful as evidence by the few number of victims, i.e., 8 out of 20 who were present in the work site.
NILO A. APUADA