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Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion in India Kills at Least 15 People

Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion in India Kills at Least 15 People

Written by Katie Valentine

At least 15 people have been killed and 14 more have been injured after a state-owned gas pipeline exploded in India Friday.

The pipeline exploded at about 5:30 a.m. Friday in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, shooting flames more than 80 feet in the air. The fire burned for more than three hours but has been brought under control, officials said. Villages surrounding the explosion, which occurred in Nagaram village in the East Godavari district, were evacuated and overall damage to the surrounding area is being assessed.

“The fire has been extinguished now and rescue operations are on,” Vandana Chanana, an official from Gas Authority of India Ltd, the company in charge of the pipeline, said.

So far, officials don’t know what caused the explosion. Reuters reports that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said victims of the explosion and their relatives would receive compensation for the accident, with 200,000 rupees ($3,328) paid to relatives of those who died in the accident and 50,000 rupees (about $831) for those who were injured. Relief payments by India’s petroleum industry and Gas Authority of India Ltd. would also be made.

The fire is the deadliest energy sector event in India since a fire Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd’s refinery in Andhra Pradesh killed 28 people in August 2013. India has struggled to find ways to provide its 400 million citizens who lack electricity with power, while also addressing its role as the world’s third most highly carbon emitting country. India’s new prime minister has signaled a push toward more solar in the country, an ambition that, if reached, could help wean the country off its reliance on coal, oil and natural gas.

Other parts of the world have also faced their share of natural gas pipeline explosions in recent years. In February, a natural gas pipeline explosion in Kentucky leveled homes and placed Adair County under a state of emergency. In January, a TransCanada-owned natural gas pipeline explosion in Manitoba, Canada cut off gas supplies for 4,000 residents during sub-zero temperatures. And in 2000, a natural gas pipeline explosion in New Mexico killed five adults and five children who were camping near the pipeline.

AP has raised the death count of the incident to 15, after one person succumbed to injuries. The post has been updated to reflect this change.

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

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4:23AM PDT on Mar 23, 2015

I'm sorry. May they rest in peace and find eternal love. Condolences to all who have or will suffer because of this.

4:05AM PST on Jan 4, 2015

So sad.

5:02PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

They should get rooftop solar if they want to provide safer power for a good portion of the day, and then rely less on fossil fuels.

4:50PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

....sadly noted.....remember when there is a solar power leak we just call it a sunny day....

7:48AM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

But the ads from the energy companies keep telling me how clean and wonderful natural gas is. Who are you going to believe, the energy companies or the incinerated people?

9:09AM PDT on Jul 4, 2014


1:12PM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

and how many hundreds of people have died here because of problems like this

1:07PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

1:42PM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

That is so sad ! Who will take responsibility :)

10:14AM PDT on Jun 29, 2014


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