EPA: Oliver Springs oil well fire finally extinguished

By: Brian Gregory, Allison Hunt
By: Brian Gregory, Allison Hunt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- An oil well fire that's been burning near Oliver Springs since Wednesday, March 19th, is finally out, according to an EPA spokesperson.

The fire was extinguished Tuesday morning. New video, just into the Volunteer TV Newsroom shows no more flames from the well. That video will be online this afternoon.

Hot iron rods that have been contributing to the fire have been pulled away from the shaft, according to EPA Public Relations Specialist Sherryl Carbonaro.

The well, however, has not yet been capped, and continues to spew oil at this hour. Carbonaro says the well operator may be able to have the well capped by Tuesday evening.

All but two of the 25 residents in the Cove Road area of Oliver Springs have returned to their home, according to Carbonaro. She says the two that have not returned home are staying away at their own discretion.

The next update from the EPA is expected at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday.

The well caught on fire shortly after a man drove by it on Wednesday morning. That man, identified as Jonathan Vann, was treated for burns at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. At last check, Friday, he was in serious condition, but a Vanderbilt spokesperson says he's no longer listed as a patient there.

Stay connected to Volunteer TV News and volunteertv.com for continued coverage of this developing news story.

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