June 27, 2014 By

Gas Pipeline Blast Kills 15 in Andhra Pradesh


A massive explosion in a gas pipeline in East Godavari district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Friday killed at least 15 and injured 7. The blast occurred at 5.30 am in the pipeline belonging to the state-owned energy company GAIL (India) Ltd in Nagaram Village in Amalapuram Mandal, about 560 kms from Hyderabad. Reasons for the blast are not yet known.

The victims were mainly local residents. The injured were rushed to the nearby hospitals. The fire accompanied by loud blasts destroyed the houses and shops near the site spreading panic among the residents who ran out of their homes. The officials said that the fire had been brought under control by around 7:30 am and the gas supply has been cut off. The death toll may rise.

The State government has ordered an inquiry into the matter and will set an action plan to avoid similar accidents in future, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu tweeted. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan constituted high-level committee to investigate the pipeline fire.
In a statement, GAIL chairman BC Tripathi said that the fire occurred in an 18-inch pipeline of the company near to the ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited) refinery complex. ”We are currently focused on rescue and relief operations,” he added. In addition to the relief assistance provided by the Petroleum Ministry and GAIL, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced ex-gratia relief to families of the victims.

GAIL operates a 11,000km (6,840-mile) natural gas pipeline network and seven gas processing units across India and is also involved in petrochemicals, exploration, city gas distribution and wind and solar power.


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