July 10, 2013

    Photo: Tim Hurst/Flickr

Explosion Injures Workers at WV Fracking Site

Causes under investigation

Federal and state officials are investigating what was behind an explosion at a West Virginia fracking site that left several employees with serious injuries over the weekend. The accident occured early Sunday morning when a spark ignited two storage tanks containing used fracking fluid from a well run by Antero Resources in sparsely-populated Doddridge County, located in northern West Virginia.

"We do not know the ignition source, but we suspect it was a methane explosion," Antero spokesperson Alvyn Schopp told Reuters. Four of the workers caught in the blast were flown to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh with potentially life-threatening injuries.

The explosion is not the first major accident to hit West Virginia's natural gas industry this year, according to Grist. In April, an explosion at a site operated by Eureka Hunter Pipeline in Tyler County killed two workers and injured two more.

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WATCH: Farmer Digs Fire Line With Tractor

Stops wildfire


Farmer Eric Howard deserves his own remix after plowing courageously on Monday in Colorado's Weld County. After lightning ignited a fire in his hay field, Howard took to his John Deere and dug a fire line that managed to stymie the blaze, which had already burned and 20-30 acres in his 80-acre plot.

Fortunately for us, it was all captured on heli-cam:

For more on fighting wildfires, check out Kyle Dickman's story from our July issue.

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Climber Dies On Gasherbrum I

Was attempting successive summits

A Polish climber has died in a fall on Gasherbrum I while attempting to descend in a storm. Artur Hazjer, 51, was part of a team attempting successive climbs of Gasherbrum I and II in the Karakoram range, on the Pakistani-Chinese border.

Krzysztof Wielicki, a Polish mountaineer who made the first winter ascent of Everest in 1980, reported that bad weather on Sunday forced Hajzer and his climbing partner, Marcin Kaczkan, to turn back before reaching the summit. Marcin, who was initially cut off from the rest of his team due to a dead battery, reportedly saw him fall.

At 26,470 feet, Gasherbrum I is the eleventh-highest mountain in the world. Polish climbers were the first to complete a winter ascent of the mountain in March of 2012.

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    Photo: Youtube.com

WATCH: Impala Escapes Cheetah in a Passing Car

Daring escape through the window

Two girls out for a relaxing day at South Africa’s Kruger National Park managed to capture the tail end of a high-speed pursuit between a terrified impala and two hungry cheetahs.

Just as the cheetahs appear to have cornered their prey, the enterprising impala, though perhaps not fully thinking the idea through, leaps through the window of a nearby vehicle to safety. In a touching display of inter-species compassion, the occupants of the vehicle keep their cool, and allow the animal to stay until the danger has passed. Watch below:

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Mark Cavendish     Photo: Hyku/Flickr

Spoiler: Fan Douses Cavendish in Urine

Time trial solidifies Tour pecking order

In retaliation for crashing Tom Veelers in yesterday's sprint finish, a fan doused Mark Cavendish with urine during Wednesday's time trial. “Probably some spectators were not very pleased with what happened yesterday and they yelled to him and then one other idiot threw urine at him,” Omega Pharma team CEO Patrick Lefevere told the AFP.

In yesterday's sprint finish into Saint-Malo, Cavendish bumped shoulders with Veelers, sending him to the asphalt at high speed. While Veelers blamed Cavendish for the crash, race jury officials failed to fine the British champion.

Later in the day, Cavendish issued a non-apology apology on Twitter saying, "Can all sprint experts on twitter go & try flicking their bike right at 65kph without leaning your body left to balance & come back to me."

While Cavendish's day stole the headlines, Tony Martin, the defending individual world time trial champion, won the day's stage with Chris Froome finishing second, only 12 seconds down. Froome's closest competitors for the overall, Alejandro Valverde and Bauke Mollema, lost more than two minutes each on the stage. Given the time gaps, Froome's competitors face an uphill battle in stripping the Sky rider of the yellow jersey. 

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