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La. Gas Well Fire Extinguished

October 27, 1998

BRYCELAND, La. (AP) _ Authorities finally extinguished a fire at a natural gas well Monday evening, two days after it exploded and killed seven workers.

The well continued to spew gas, however, and crews hoped to gain control by Tuesday, said Bruce Connery, a spokesman for Sonat Exploration Co., which owns the well.

The cause of Saturday’s explosion has not yet been determined. An investigator with the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board arrived Monday to help with the probe.

Thirteen workers were preparing the well to begin pumping natural gas when it exploded. One of those killed was brought out within hours, but it took a full day before emergency crews were able to get to the other five bodies.

The seventh victim died early Sunday at LSU Medical Center.

The well is in a remote area, about 45 miles east of Shreveport in northern Louisiana.

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