Safety concerns follow Hutchinson earthquake

HUTCHINSON, Kan. While there were no reports of injuries with Friday's Hutchinson earthquake and overall, damage is minor, there are three particular areas of concern with a gas-storage facility and the Hutchinson Salt Mine.

The first deals with the gas-storage facility, Yaggy Field. In 2001, a leak at the facility caused damage in Hutchinson. After Friday's 4.2-magnitude earthquake, some want to know if that could happen again.

Other concerns are whether workers in the salt mine are safe and if the salt mine itself may have something to do with the earthquake.

With Yaggy Field, Eyewitness News reached out to Oneok, the company that owns the facility.

The company says there is no longer natural gas at the site and therefore, the earthquake won't have an impact on Yaggy Field.

Hutchinson Salt Mine Manager Jim Barta says works in the mine didn't even feel the earthquake when it happened and production at the mine never stopped.

"We do have safety protocol whenever there's anything like this," he says. "We do inspect the whole mine. We have no damage, (so it's) business as usual."

Barta says earthquakes in Hutchinson area aren't uncommon and neither are concerns he receives from people in the community that the mine itself could be causing the quakes.

He says that isn't the case, with workers only mining about 14 feet of several hundred feet of salt.