Massive blast claims 14 lives

Last updated 18:25 27/06/2014

Relevant offers

Asia

India bans sale of cows for slaughter Chinese jets intercept US surveillance plane - US officials Schapelle Corby's lawyer believes she may have received lighter sentence if case less high-profile Mount Everest's Hillary Step is missing a 'large block' but is still there, mountaineer's son says Philippines deploys top commandoes, attack helicopters to retake city from Islamist rebels Police chief beheaded by militants in Philippines during deadly spree Taiwan's high court rules in favour of same-sex marriage Donald Trump praises Duterte for an 'unbelievable job' on drug issue - report Defiant Duterte threatens harsh measures as thousands flee Philippines unrest Philippine church says priest, churchgoers taken hostage by IS militants

A state-owned gas pipeline exploded early Friday, killing at least 14 people and sparking a massive fire that destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of neighbouring villages in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, authorities said.  

Vandana Chanana, a top official of the state-run Gas Authority of India Ltd, said 14 people died and 15 others were injured in the fire following the explosion in the pipeline in Nagaram village in the state's East Godavari district.

''The fire has been extinguished now and rescue operations are on,'' Chanana said.

The injured had been taken to nearby hospitals where doctors said the condition of at least four of them was critical, company officials said.

Andhra Pradesh Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa said the explosion occurred at about 5.30 am (local time) in Nagaram, the site of a connecting station for the gas company.  

The explosion sent flames shooting up into the pre-dawn sky.

The fire burned for more than three hours before it was brought under control, Rajappa said.  

''The extent of damage is being assessed,'' he said.  

Company officials said it was too early to say what could have caused the blast.  

Nagaram residents said they had complained about the lack of maintenance of the gas pipelines, but their complaints were ignored.

‘‘People are angry that GAIL authorities didn’t pay heed when they complained that the pipes had become rusty,’’ said Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu.

Witnesses said flames rose more than 25 metres into the air, scorching the tops of coconut and palm trees, and sending dense black clouds of smoke into the sky.

Villagers ran out of their homes and crowded the streets of Nagaram. Scores of houses and shops were gutted, officials said.

Residents of neighbouring villages were evacuated to safer areas, said East Godavari district collector Neetu Kumari Prasad.  

The GAIL pipeline supplies gas to Godavari Fertilizer Co. and Nagarjuna Fertilizer Co.  

Nagaram village is about 560 kilometres east of the state capital, Hyderabad. 

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content