A video from China that appears to show water catching fire when a lighter is put near it is being widely shared on social media.
Filmed in the Liaoning region in Northeast China, the video shows a person putting the flame from a lighter near water running from a tap. When the flame comes close to the water the water appears to catch fire.
Chinese state-owned media People’s Daily shared the video and said the unusual occurrence was “caused by natural gas infiltration due to temporary underground water supply system error, which is now shut down”. The report said the issue has been resolved, normal water services have resumed, and an investigation has been launched.
Some residents alleged that it was not an isolated case. Some have complained that they had been living with this problem since around 2018. One resident said her household had gaseous and “oily” running water for “three to four years,” Chinese media reports said.
“After washing, there always seems to be a layer of oil sticking to our hands,” a woman identified as Ms Wen told China Central Television (CCTV).
Local residents say that despite numerous complaints they haven’t received clear answers from authorities.
According to a report by CGTN, the head of the local water service station in the town admitted there were problems but didn’t want to take any responsibility for it.
After the video went viral, a broader investigation into accountability and causes started.
“Due to a small amount of natural gas leaking into the water layer, the natural gas was brought to the ground during the water extraction process,” the local government said in a statement.