A FIRE has broken out at an Indian gas well which has been leaking for weeks.
The gas blowout began on 27 May and has reportedly caused severe damage to the local wetlands. Well owner Oil India said that around 2,500 people were evacuated from the surrounding area and taken to relief camps after the well started leaking. The gas well is located in the Baghjan oil field in the Tinsukia district of Assam state.
At around 13:40 local time on 9 June, the gas well caught fire. According to The Guardian, five homes caught fire and the smoke was visible at a distance of 10 km. Oil India said that the fire occurred during clearing works but that the cause has yet to be ascertained. The fire has been contained within 50 m of the well, but it is believed that it will take four weeks to bring the fire under control.
Two firefighters have been found dead near the well, according to local media. At least 200 workers were at the site at the time.
In an update on 4 June, Oil India said that pumping water through the casing valve was in progress to minimise the chance of fire. It also said that the air and water quality is being monitored. The well had been producing 100,000 m3/d of gas from a depth of 3,870 m prior to the blowout.
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