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Natural gas well explodes in Louisiana

Officials will reignite the fire to keep the gas from escaping.

NEW ORLEANS — Two natural gas wells exploded two weeks ago in Northwest Louisiana, just hours after fracking operations began.

The blowout happened on Aug. 30 in Red River Parish, about 20 miles southeast of Shreveport in the Haynesville Shale natural gas field.

The state says well owner G.E.P. Haynesville had just used fracking chemicals to break up the shale and draw out the gas.

Drone video from the DESMOG Blog shows the wells still burning last Sunday.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says it has not found unsafe levels of gas in the air surrounding the blowout.

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The state Department of Natural Resources tells WWL-TV that the fire went out Thursday, Sept. 12, so they need to light the fire again to keep the gas from escaping.

The state is now working with the company to get the wells under control, but it could take another month to drill new wells to cut off the source of gas.