Russian pipe that takes gas to Europe explodes in enormous fireball killing three in latest blaze to hit infrastructure amid suspicions saboteurs are at work in the country
- The huge explosion hit major Russian pipe line 560 miles from Ukraine border
- Videos showed fireball burning in the Chuvashia republic as cause is unclear
- Reports said three gas workers were killed and another is in a ‘serious’ condition
A Russian pipe that takes gas to Europe has exploded in an enormous fireball – killing three – in the latest blaze to hit infrastructure amid suspicions saboteurs are at work in the country.
The huge explosion hit a major Russian gas pipeline some 560 miles from the Ukrainian border.
Reports said later that three gas workers had been killed in the gas explosion. Their bodies were found at the scene.
The cause was unclear but videos showed a huge fireball burning in Chuvashia republic.
A Russian pipe that takes gas to Europe has exploded in an enormous fireball, killing three
The pipeline transports gas from Russia via Ukraine to Europe, according to early reports.
Another man was hospitalised in a ‘serious’ condition.
It is the third major incident at Russian energy facilities in less than a week. In all cases explosions were reported before major fires.
It comes amid suspicions that Vladimir Putin is being hit by sabotage attacks which the authorities refuse to admit to.
This incident may hit the limited supplies of Russian gas to Europe.
According to local residents, the explosion and fire was on a major pipeline operated by Gazprom between the villages of Kalinino and Yambakhtino.
The disaster scene is some 380 miles east of Moscow.
The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline is a Russian gas export pipeline built in the early 1980s. It transports gas from Western Siberia to Europe.
The pipeline crosses the Russian-Ukrainian border near the Sudzha gas pipeline in the Kursk region.
The temperature in the area of the fire was ‘so high’ that people could not approach the houses.
The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline (the Bratstvo pipeline, Brotherhood pipeline, West-Siberian Pipeline, or Trans-Siberian Pipeline), one of Russia’s main natural gas export pipelines, partially owned and operated by Ukraine
The huge explosion hit a major Russian gas pipeline some 560 miles from the Ukrainian border
Reports said later that three gas workers had been killed in the gas explosion. Their bodies were found at the scene
Local regional chief Oleg Nikolaev said the heat was so intense it was ‘impossible to approach the scene immediately’.
‘Prompt measures will be taken to eliminate the problems and perform all the necessary work,’ he said.
Reports later said the inferno had been brought under control but the incident saw the price of gas spiral on world markets to $1,200 per thousand cubic metres.
Kommersant newspaper reported on its Telegram channel: ‘An explosion occurred on a gas pipeline in Chuvashia.
‘According to preliminary data, there was a leak. There is no information yet about the victims.’
A local channel reported: ‘First there was the sound of an explosion.
‘The noise can be heard even in neighbouring areas’ – where people thought that a plane was in trouble.
A high whirlwind similar to a tornado was seen near the burning gas pipeline in the Vurnar district.
Locals suggested it was caused by extreme differences in temperature.
There were claims that workmen had been at the scene before the explosion.
Social media comments suggested sabotage may have been behind the blaze.
‘There are explosions all around the country,’ said one comment.
The past week has seen two explosions and major infernos in Irkutsk region.
Armageddon-like flames shot into the sky from the giant blaze at the Markovskoye condensate treatment unit in the biting minus 22C cold.
Dramatic footage shows the scene from hell caused by the ‘jet fire’ in the east Siberian district of Ust-Kut, Irkutsk region.
At least seven people suffered injuries in the blast at Angarsk which was in the same region as a blast three days earlier that was compared to an earthquake or plane crash for its force.