South Texas oil well explodes, prompting evacuations

KARNES CITY, Texas (AP) — A South Texas oil well exploded, spewing toxic hydrogen sulfide gas that forced the evacuation of several nearby homes.

The Karnes County Sheriff’s Office says The explosion happened Tuesday afternoon off Farm Road 792 about four miles east of Karnes City. Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva said the well pump that exploded was shut off but hydrogen sulfide gas still escaped.

A statement from the well owner, Encana Corp., said no injuries were reported from the 3:30 p.m. incident.

Hydrogen sulfide is a flammable, colorless gas that smells like rotten eggs. At high levels, exposure can be lethal.