There has been an explosion in the gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Latvia.
The blast took place in Pennywise County in the northern region. LithuaniaAmber Grid, the country’s gas transmission operator, said.
Lithuanian broadcaster LRT said the village of Velkiliai, which has about 250 residents, is being evacuated as a precaution.
AmberGrid’s general director Nimonas Bikanius told Sky News that no one was injured or any property damaged in the explosion, and that an investigation would be launched into the cause.
He said: “Fortunately no-one was injured in this incident and we will soon begin an investigation into what happened.
“At this point we have no evidence that this was intentional, but the investigation will answer questions.”
According to the Baltic News Service, Latvian Energy Minister Raymonds Kuders was told that the explosion was caused by a technical accident.
LRT reported that flames rose 165 feet (50 m) into the air and could be seen from at least 11 miles (17 km) away.
After extinguishing the fire, the fire crews had to wait.
“Following the incident, the valves on the gas pipeline were tightened. We do not see any adverse effects on the gas pipeline,” Mr. Bikanius said in an earlier statement.
Gas supplies to Latvia have been restored after a temporary suspension, according to the CEO of the Lithuanian pipeline grid operator.
The mayor of Paswallis district, Gantauts Giguzenskas, told LRT: “We have no information about the cause of the explosion.”
“I spoke to a few people near the scene. They told me that earlier today they saw some work going on near the pipeline where the explosion happened. I can’t confirm if that’s true or not.”
The gas transmission system in the area consists of two parallel pipelines, and preliminary data indicate that one of them exploded.
The other pipeline was not damaged.
Gas is being supplied to consumers in Paswallis district through an adjacent pipeline.
The population of this area is about 6,500.
Sky’s Dominic Waghorn said: “It appears to have been some kind of device or some freak accident that ignited the pipeline and caused an explosion that released enough gas to cause such a fireball. .
“The background to this is that we’ve seen attacks on civilian energy infrastructure in Ukraine, because of the war there, but also in parts of Russia.
“Would you? [the pipeline in Lithuania] “Whether or not it’s war-related is unclear, but it’s certainly not something that normally happens with pipelines that could possibly have a nefarious or nefarious motive behind it.”
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