The gas leaking from the Baghjan well is said to have caught fire during cleaning operations, leading to an explosion
No deaths have been reported so far, but one firefighter from ONGC has sustained minor injuries
New Delhi: Visuals from Baghjan in Assam’s Tinsukia district showed a massive fire erupting and a large cloud of smoke billowing over an oilfield of state-run OIL (Oil India Limited) which has been flowing gas uncontrollably since May 27. The gas leaking from the Baghjan well is said to have caught fire during cleaning operations, leading to an explosion. No deaths have been reported so far, but one firefighter from ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Corporation) has sustained minor injuries. Around 1,600 families living in the vicinity have been evacuated to safer areas.
“While clearing operations were on at the well site, the well caught fire. There is no casualty reported. A firefighter from ONGC sustained minor injuries. Fire tenders are at the site controlling the spread of fire,” OIL said in an official statement on Tuesday.
Singapore’s ALERT had reached Baghjan oil field day before explosion
The Baghjan oil field explosion has taken place a day after three experts from Singapore-based firm — Alert Disaster Control — reached Assam in order to help OIL control the well blowout. “While chalking out the plans with ALERT team in the morning five options were presented by ALERT team which included “Capping Stack Guide Rail” Mechanism and
“Ignite Well” options. However, ONGC and OIL teams had made considerable progress with the “Capping Stack Guide Rail” Mechanism and it was decided to proceed with the same. However, the current situation would be brought under control by the experts,” OIL said.
ALERT says will take 4 weeks to bring Baghjan well blowout under control
Post the incident, emergency meetings are underway with the ALERT Team. They have said that it is now safe for working and are confident that the situation can be controlled and the well can be capped safely. The situation demands arrangement of large quantities of water, installation of high discharge pumps and removal of debris. All the operations as per ALERT will take about four weeks. Efforts will be made to reduce this timeframe as much as possible, OIL said.
OIL seeks help from district administration to control protests
Meanwhile, violent protests have been taking place around the well site. “A request was made to Chief Secretary, government of Assam, and District Administration, Tinsukia, for maintaining law and order so that experts are allowed to enter the site and start the well control operations. All officials of OIL/ONGC are being evacuated from nearby areas. Once the situation is normal, the experts from ALERT and the staff of OIL/ONGC will move to the site,” the statement said.
Here are visuals and videos from the site that were shared on Twitter:
Visuals from Baghjan.— aboyob bhuyan (@aboyobbhuyan) June 9, 2020
Massive fire at Baghjan blowout site, in Tinsukia, Assam.
Areas nearby are devastated as residents evacuated to relief camps. pic.twitter.com/KRBdiJ7gp2
Baghjan oil field explosion caught fire. Hundreds of families are evacuated amidst the pandemic. We are still hoping for positive results @MoHFW_INDIA @dpradhanbjp @narendramodi @IOCL_Assam pic.twitter.com/7IV0W9lwQV— Mahasweta Goswami (@shrotashwini) June 9, 2020
Visuals from residences near the Baghjan Oil Field were the explosion happened today. pic.twitter.com/1ABXcgImfx— aboyob bhuyan (@aboyobbhuyan) June 9, 2020