The blowout from an Oil India Limited (OIL)-owned well near Assam’s Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the Maguri-Motapung wetland caught fire on Tuesday. “We cannot say how and why it happened,” said Tridiv Hazarika, OIL spokesperson, adding that it is not unexpected for a blowout to catch fire since the gases which escape are highly inflammable.
A statement from OIL said, “While cleaning operations were on at the well site, the well caught fire. Fire tenders are at the site controlling the spread of fire.”
On May 27, Baghjan 5 well in Tinsukia district reported a blowout or a sudden, uncontrolled release of gas/oil.
Nearly 3,000 people from Baghjan were evacuated and at least one dolphin, one particolored flying squirrel and a variety of fish died as condensate — residue from gas condensing after coming in contact with water — spilled to as far as 5 km.
“It is a big fire but it is only around the plinth area of the well,” Bhaskar Pegu, Tinsukia DC, said. “The fire has not spread to water bodies around the well.”
As per OIL’s statement, “the situation demands arrangement of large quantities of water, installation of high discharge pumps and removal of debris.”
OIL’s Hazarika said one firefighter from ONGC had sustained injuries and was in hospital.
The Chief Minister Assam handle tweeted that CM Sarbananda Sonowal had spoken to Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the phone and apprised him about the fire.
Earlier in the day, the CM called Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and urged him to “take urgent steps for putting out the fire”. He also called Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to deploy Air Force for controlling the fire.
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