Assam gas well fire: 2 firefighters killed, flames continue to erupt

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Two firefighters who were engaged in controlling a blaze in Assam’s Baghjan were killed on Wednesday. Their bodies were found near the natural gas well that ignited on Tuesday.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) confirmed that the bodies of Durlov Gogoi, 30 and Bikeshwar Gohain, 56, were found from a pond near the well at Baghjan.

Meanwhile, flames continue to erupt from the gas well, reported news agency ANI. The fire broke out at the well a day after three experts from Singapore had reached the area to attempt plugging the well.

The gas well had been spewing gas and condensate since the blowout began on May 27.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has deputed industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary to the site. He also suggested use of Indian Air Force aircraft to douse the fire.

“I have apprised Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan about the incident and asked him to take steps to contain the fire and the blowout. Indian Air Force (IAF) can also play a role in controlling the fire and I have asked defence minister Rajnath Singh about it,” he said on Tuesday.

Sonowal also asked residents of the area and Tinsukia town, which is 9 km away from the site not to panic and assured all help from the state government.

“The fire broke out at 1:40 pm at the site,” said Jayant Bormudoi, senior manager (corporate communication) of OIL.

Smoke could be seen billowing from the well several kilometres away from the site close to Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the eco-sensitive Maguri Mottapung wetland.

Following the blowout nearly 2,000 people residing near the well were shifted to four relief camps.

The Baghjan well suffered the blowout on May 27 while work was underway to produce gas from a new oil and gas bearing reservoir at a depth of 3,729 metres.

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