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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Massive fire at Assam oil well: 12 points you must know

A massive fire broke out at a natural gas-producing well of Oil India Limited at Baghjan in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district on Tuesday afternoon. Two firefighters died in the accident. According to latest reports, former Assam goalkeeper Durlov Gogoi is one of the casualties.

Here is the entire tragedy explained in 12 points

  1. A huge fire engulfed the OIL well, creating an inferno on Tuesday. The well has been uncontrollably spewing gas for the past two weeks. The bodies of two firefighters were spotted at a wetland near the incident site, officials said on Wednesday.
  2. According to a report, the fire was visible from 30km away. Huge amounts of smoke billowed out and posed threat to the local bio-diversities. The well blew off on May 27. The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is located just 3km away from the incident site.
  3. Huge flames, gushing of smoke and explosions created panic among the local residents. Authorities concerned evacuated over 1,600 families from the area.
  4. Army, National Disaster Response Force and air force personnel are helping the firefighters’ team in dousing the flames. Officials called in an alert disaster control team from Singapore to the incident site to stop the leaking of gas. As per the latest reports, the fire is still raging. Paramilitary forces have condoned off the area.
  5. Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal spoke to home minister Amit Shah, defense minister Rajnath Singh and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The CM sought their help to bring the situation under control.
  6. Local residents have been protesting, fearing for their lives and livelihood since the well blowout. On Tuesday authorities tried to evacuate the families hurriedly. It was difficult to maintain the social distancing norms then.
  7. According to the OIL officials, the incident took place when their workers were cleaning the well.
  8. Experts said seepage of crude oil and chemicals caused the blowout.
  9. Photos shared by the local residents showed that the fire gutted large swathes of farm land and houses. The photos also showed carcasses of Gangetic dolphins and other aquatic animals from the nearby wetlands.
  10. The authorities so far evacuated over 6,000 people living in the 1.5km radius of the OIL well and placed them at relief camps. OIL authorities have announced Rs 30,000 each to the families affected by the tragic incident.
  11. Local residents as well as bio-diversity and environment activists from across the country blamed the OIL authorities for “sitting on the gas spewing” issue for over two weeks.
  12. OIL authorities said that it will take around 4 weeks to complete the entire operation and bring situation back to normal.

Experts believe that the incident will cause much damage to Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and its ecology. Long-term effects could be felt in the region’s ecological system.

“It is one of the biggest disasters so far in India. Due to the negligence on the part of OIL the situation aggravated. The OIL authorities failed to bring the fire under control for past 14 days since the blowout happened. Oil and gas have been leaking from the site continuously,” said Bijay Gogoi, an environmentalist. Source: nenow.in

We hope the flames are doused soon and situation comes under control. Pandemic, locusts, earthquake, cyclone and now this! 2020 is doomed!

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