Huge explosion near Baghjan oil well in Assam, 3 foreign experts injured
The damaged gas well is spewing gas uncontrollably for 56 days since a blowout - an uncontrolled release of gas and oil condensate - took place on May 27.Updated: Jul 22, 2020 15:28 IST
Three foreign experts were injured in an explosion which occurred near Oil India Limited (OIL)’s gas well number 5 at Baghjan, in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Wednesday.
“The incident occurred when operations to douse the fire at Baghjan oil field was going on. The operation has been halted now,” news agency ANI quoted Tridip Hazarika, the spokesperson of Oil India Limited, as saying.
“Three foreign experts who were at the site are injured. They have been rushed to hospital,” Hazarika said.
The damaged gas well is spewing gas uncontrollably for 56 days since a blowout - an uncontrolled release of gas and oil condensate - took place on May 27. Two firefighters of OIL also died at the site then.
Over 9,000 people have been shifted to relief camps since the blowout at the well. It caught fire on June 9.
Foreign experts brought in to put out the fire and plug the blowout were expected to complete the task by July 7. But flood caused by heavy rain inundated the area near the well and damaged roads and a bridge leading to the site affecting work for several days.
OIL had said that various assessment and impact studies of the blowout as well as the blaze in villages and nearby forest areas by multiple agencies such as ERM India, TERI, CSIR-NEIST and IIT-Guwahati.
“Total number of families surveyed till July 18 in both Tinsukia and Doomdooma circles is 1,751,” the Public Sectory Undertaking (PSU) had said.
The well is located near the Maguri-Motapung Wetland and Dibru Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve, which are among the few remaining habitats for several endangered and range-restricted species. The blowout led to the uncontrollable flow of oil from gas and caused extensive damage to biodiversity and wildlife in the region. The wildlife includes endangered hoolock gibbons and the Gangetic dolphins.
There are 17 oil and five gas wells in the Baghjan oil field.
Last month, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) constituted an eight-member committee of experts to probe the blowout, subsequent fire and the damage it has caused to humans, wildlife and environment.