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GAIL gas pipeline blast kills at least 12 persons, injures 20 others- LIVE UPDATES


June 27, 2014 - Hyderabad

A blast that occurred in the early hours of Friday in the GAIL gas pipe line killed at least 12 persons leaving 25 more injured with severe burns. The injured were immediately rushed to Amalapuram government hospital. The dead included children and old age persons and beyond recognition.

The explosion in the ONGC gas pipeline occurred at Nagaram village at Mamidikuduru mandal of East Godavari. The pipeline supplies gas to NSFL, GFCL, Tatipakaku went out leading to the serious fire accident. The flames emanating from the explosion had gone to a height of 20 metres and is like a blow-out explosion. The gas is said to have been leaked from the gas trunk line causing the major explosion. Fire fighting teams are making their all-out efforts to bring the flames under control. Houses, shops and coconut trees nearby were fully burnt which suggested that the intensity of the explosion is high. Fire and smoke from the explosion spread to kilometer range.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who is currently camping at Delhi expressed deep shock over the incident. He directed the Deputy Chief Minister Nimmakayala Chinnarajappa to the accident site. TDP senior leader Gollapalli Surya Rao said that the flames have come to control. MP Thota Narasimham spoke to the East Godavari Collector over the incident and wanted him to take relief steps on a war footing.

District Collector Neetu Kumari Prasad said that the blast occurred at around 5.30am due to the gas supplying pipeline cut-off. GAIL Chairman BC Tripathi said that the fire broke out in an 18 inch pipeline near a refinery complex and added that they are focusing on rescue and relief operations.

Narendra Modi offers condolence via twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences through twitter. ' My thoughts with the families of those who lost their lives in the GAIL Pipeline fire in AP. Prayers with the injured. I have spoken to the Petroleum Minister, Cabinet Secretary & GAIL Chairman and asked them to ensure immediate relief at the accident site.'

.Chronology of gas leakage accidents:

• June 12, 2014: A gas leak in Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh killed six and injured 29. A high-level inquiry was ordered into the incident .

• June 5, 2014: 54 people were unconscious after inhaling harmful ammonia gas that leaked from a cold storage plant in Tuticorin .

• March 18, 2014: Seven workers died after inhaling toxic gas at a dying unit in Perundurai, near Erode.

• First blow out occurred in 1993 at Komarada in Mamidikuduru mandal.

• The second highest blowout occurred in 1995 at Devarlanka in Allavaram mandal and it created a havoc for 65 days and the fire was brought to control with the specialists from both from the country and abroad.

• Another blow out that happened in 1997.

• Another one at Tandavapalli in 2005 September created havoc.

Local express anguish over officials

Local people at Nagaram village on Friday gheraoed the District Collector , Neetu Kumari Prasad and the Deputy Chief Minister Chinnarajappa over the accident. They alleged the negligence on the part of the officials for not replacing the old pipes though such accidents regularly occurs. They said the accident occurred only due to non-replacement of pipes of decades old that runs through residential places and farm lands.

Collector assured them of extending help from the Government as well from GAIL authorities. 'Higher officials are rushing to the spot from Delhi and stringent action would be taken on those concerned', said the Neetu Kumari Prasad.

Jagan Mohan Reddy express grief:

YSR Congress party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the accident. He demanded best medicare to the injured and a probe into the incident.

15 die in the incident', says DM&HO

District Medical and Health Officer Padmavati announced that a total of 15 persons were killed in the fire accident. She said that another 32 persons injured are being treated in Amalapuram Area Hospital along with private hospitals. The condition of 15 among them is stated to be critical.

Deceased were identified

Deceased were identified as Gopi Reddy Divya Teja, Maddala Balaji.

Chandrababu Naidu cancels Delhi tour:

Following the Gas leakage tragedy in East Godavari, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is returning to the State by a special flight cancelling his tour programmes in Delhi. He will be arriving Rajahmundry directly from Delhi. The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gases Dharmendra Pradhan will be accompanying Naidu. Amalapuram MP Ravindra Babu who is in Delhi spoke to the officials and directed them to take rescue and relief operations on war footing.

Chandrababu Naidu cancels Delhi tour:

Following the Gas leakage tragedy in East Godavari, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu is returning to the State by a special flight cancelling his tour programmes in Delhi. He will be arriving Rajahmundry directly from Delhi. The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gases Dharmendra Pradhan will be accompanying Naidu. Amalapuram MP Ravindra Babu who is in Delhi spoke to the officials and directed them to take rescue and relief operations on war footing.

Orders inquiry:

Chandrababu Naidu said that he had ordered an inquiry into the incident and the Government will come to the rescue of the victims. He said that those responsible for the incident will not be let off under any circumstances. However, he said that the reasons for the accident are not known immediately.

Prime Minister announces ex-gratia:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakhs to the kin of those killed in the accident. He announced Rs.50,000 to those injured.

President of India Pranab Mukherjee expresses deep shock

President of India Pranab Mukherjee expressed deep shock over the incident. He conveyed his deep sympathies to the bereaved families. He inquired about the incident over telephone to the Governor ESL Narasimhan. He wanted the Governor to extend the possible help to the affected families and medical aid to those injured.

'Government seeks a report from Collector', says Yanamala

Yanamala Ramakrishnudu Speaking to media said that the government will rescue all those affected in all possible ways. He said that coconut trees in 10 acres were reduced to ashes. The government sought a report from the District Collector over the incident.

Total death toll rose to 15:

The injured that are being treated at Amalapuram Hospital are M.D. Thafi (42), Rajya Lakshmi (32), Durga Devi (22), Venkataratnam (46), Suryanarayanas (20), Pallamma (60), Peddiraju (41), Ratnakumari (40). The condition of children Krishna (7), Madushudan (9), Jyotsna (8) are said to be serious. They were shifted to Kakinada Apollo hospital for improved medical aid. The total number of deaths in the incident had gone to 15 at noon.

ONGC shut two gas fields:

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has shut two gas fields in the State following the incident. NK Verma told Reuters that 'fields connected to the pipeline have been shut as the pipeline is closed because of the fire'.

Six members of a family burnt alive
In the Friday disaster, six members of a tea stall owner family members were completely burnt out of the 15 members died so far. They are Jadikanti Vasu, Madhu, Anata Lakshmi, Kokila, children Balasujita and Sai Ganesh.

Chief Minister Naidu along with Union Minister visits site:

Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu along with Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gases Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday visited the site of accident. He said that the Government will come to the rescue of those affected. He said that the Government has already ordered for a probe into the incident.

'Non-maintenance of pipelines is the root cause', says former MP Harsha Kumar
Amalapuram former MP G Harsha Kumar who visited the site alleged that the accident is the result of non-maintenance of pipelines by GAIL authorities. He said that they should be held responsible for the disaster and demanded immediate replacement of decade old pipes.

The former Congress MP said that he had earlier three times written letter to the Centre for replacement but they did not take any action. He said that the authorities said that they would revoke 1960 pipelines Act. He wanted for amendment of the act but the UPA failed, said Harsha Kumar. He demanded the GAIL authorities to give support to the people or else stop activities in the region.

Petition filed in HRC
A petition was filed on Friday on the incident in the State Human Rights Commission. The Commission directed the East Godavari Collector and the Superintendent of Police to file its response by July 10.

Rs.25 lakhs ex-gratia will be paid to victims:
NAGARAM: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu announced an en-gratia of Rs.25 lakhs to the kith and kin of those killed in the disaster. Out of this, a sum of Rs.20 lakhs will be paid by the GAIL authorities , Rs.3 lakhs from the State Government and Rs.2 lakhs ex-gratia from Centre will go to the next kith and kin of those killed. He said that an amount of Rs.5 lakhs to those injured will be paid.

Blast victims identified
NAGARAM (East Godavari district): The names of deceased as follow: V Nageswara Rao (40), Gatiganti Vasu (40), V Adinarayana (24), V Narsimha Murty (22), T Satyanarayana (40), G Madhu (40), G Ananthalakshmi (60), G Kokila (30), V Sriramalakshmi (45), G Bala Sujatha (8), Six month old baby of T Satyanarayana, G Sai Ganesh (4) and R Nagaveni (45). Two more dead bodies have to be identified.

Injured persons who are being treated at Amalapuram and Kakinada are K.Chinni, Md.Pakshi, Suryanarayana, R Suribabu, B.Peddi Raju, V Satyanarayana, Kurshid Hussain, B.Kumari, B.Harshita, B.Santha, R.Satyavathi, B Pallamma, V.Durga, V. Chandu and V Chinnu and daughter and granddaughter of Tatikayala Ramudu.

GAIL office ransacked
Irate villagers on Friday attacked the GAIL office and held GAIL and also ONGC official responsible for the explosion. They said that it could have been averted had they attended the leakage of gas and corrosion of the pipelines heeded. The villagers stormed the office and destroyed the furniture and some vehicles parked outside. Some of the agitators pelted stones on the office. There were no officers and staff as the incident took place. Police reached the spot and dispersed the villagers.

RP Singh Committee begins probe:
AMALAPURAM: Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gases has constituted a committed headed by Joint Secretary of Ministry of Petroleum RP Singh. The committee on Saturday has commenced its probe into the gas leakage and subsequent fire that created disaster.

Andhra News

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