Massive fire broke out at Assam’s Baghjan oil well

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Posted in Assam, Featured

Mumeninaz Zaman

A massive fire broke out at Baghjan oil well today in Assam’s Tinsukia district. The oil well has been leaking since last two weeks uncontrollably, owing to which experts from Singapore were called upon on to assess the reason behind the blowout.

The oil well, which has been spewing gas and oil since May 27 due to the failure of pressure control systems – sent a fountain of crude oil into the air. As per reports, the fire broke out today afternoon, however, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

According to reports, no casualty has been reported so far. However, local reports say that several houses have been gutted in fire and 1,610 families living in the nearby areas have been evacuated.

Meanwhile, NDRF, Indian Air Force and emergency services have been deployed in the area to bring the situation under control. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also directed the district administration to ensure the safety of people and appealed to local people to not panic.

Sonowal spoke to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan over phone regarding the incident of fire at the gas explosion site at the Baghjan oilfield, Tinsukia.

The blaze of the breakout was so massive that it can be seen from a distance of two kilometres. Local people share videos and images of the breakout on social media platforms.

Earlier, the PSU major Oil India Ltd (OIL) on June 7 said it has appointed a consultant to assess the environmental impact of a major blowout in a well, from which gas is flowing uncontrollably for 11 days, on the Dibru- Saikhowa National Park and its nearby areas in Assam.

As per reports due to seepage of crude, condensate and other chemicals from the OIL well in Baghjan of Tinsukia district, there have been reports of damage to the ecology of the area by the locals, environmentalists and various groups.

The blowout has disturbed the ecological system in the nearby areas including the Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Maguri wetland. A number of fishes, dolphins, birds & animals were already affected in the area due to the blowout. Earlier more than 2,000 people have been evacuated from the area.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Rameswar Teli requested OIL to look into the matter on an urgent basis with experts.

Oil India Limited has issued a press release wherein it has mentioned- While the clearing operations were on at the well site, the well caught fire. There is no casualty reported. Fire tenders are at the site controlling the spread of fire. There are violent protests around the well site. Once the situation is normal, the experts will move to the site.

 

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