Fourteen killed in GAIL India gas pipeline blast and fire

NEW DELHI Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:14pm IST

People carry the body of a victim near the site of a blast and fire at a gas pipeline at Godavari district, in Andhra Pradesh June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

People carry the body of a victim near the site of a blast and fire at a gas pipeline at Godavari district, in Andhra Pradesh June 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Fourteen people were killed and 20 injured on Friday in a blast and fire at a gas pipeline in Andhra Pradesh, again raising safety concerns over the country's energy projects.

The fire broke out on a stretch of pipeline running through the village of Nagaram, engulfing buildings and burning victims to death, according to TV news footage and eyewitness accounts. Many such projects are opposed by villagers on safety grounds.

"The situation is very bad ... 14 people were burnt alive and 20 have been admitted to hospital with injuries," Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, state finance minister of Andhra Pradesh, told Reuters. He added that the fire had been brought under control.

Friday's incident was the most deadly in the Indian energy sector since August 2013, when 28 people were killed in a fire at Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd's (HPCL.NS) refinery at Vizag in Andhra Pradesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said victims and relatives would receive compensation. He said 200,000 rupees would be paid to relatives of the dead and 50,000 rupees for those injured, in addition to relief payments by the petroleum ministry and GAIL.

Elected last month by a landslide, Modi wants to accelerate major energy and infrastructure projects that have been blocked by planning delays.

The latest fire occurred in a pipeline operated by state-owned energy company GAIL (India) Ltd (GAIL.NS) and disrupted supplies to a power station and closed two gas fields.

The 18-inch pipeline supplies 0.5 million standard cubic metres of gas a day to a power plant operated by Lanco Infratech Ltd. (LAIN.NS), GAIL spokeswoman Vandana Chanana said.

"We have made arrangements to supply gas to consumers through alternative pipelines," Chanana said.

State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS) has shut two of its gas fields that were supplying the fire-hit pipeline, its head of exploration N. K. Verma said.

GAIL's shares declined 1.1 percent at 1:07 p.m. while Lanco Infratech's shares were down 1.3 percent.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu have ordered an inquiry into the blast and fire.

(Additional reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in MUMBAI, Aditya Kalra and Tommy Wilkes in NEW DELHI Editing by Douglas Busvine and Michael Perry)

FILED UNDER:

Politics

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fund Raising

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

Hacking Attack

Hacking Attack

N.Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage