A massive fire has engulfed a natural-gas producing well of Oil India Limited (OIL) in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district; that has been leaking gas for the last 14 days.
The Fire spread near 10 Km and nearby villages.
The Indian Air Force and the Army are assisting in the firefighting operations. The Air Force has sent three fire engines, and the Army has reached the area and is on stand-by. The area has been cordone off by paramilitary forces.
Sources say the fire is still not under control.
Oil India says the well caught fire while clearing operations were underway at the site. Oil India, in its statement, also said that there were violent protests around the leak site, and that all Oil India and ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) teams have been evacuated.
The oil well at Baghjan Tinsukia had a blowout on May 27 and has been leaking gas for the past 14 days, causing grave damage to the region’s wetlands and biodiversity.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed in the area since the time of the gas leak and top officials of Assam are also reviewing the situation.
Paddy fields, ponds and wetlands in the adjoining villages have also been contaminated and the threat is growing with every passing day. Several small tea growers in the area have also complained about layers of gas condensates in their tea gardens.
At least 6,000 people living in a 1.5-km radius of the natural gas producing well have been evacuate and placed in relief camps. Oil India Limited has also announced financial relief of Rs 30,000 to each to the affected families.