Explosion hits gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Latvia – nearby village set to be evacuated | World News

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 public broadcaster LRT showed footage of the fire in the area.

Police were preparing to evacuate a nearby village, Baltic news agency BNS reported.

BNS added that no injuries or fatalities were reported.

“We are investigating the cause of the explosion,” AmberGrid spokesperson said.

Photo: Gintautas Geguzinskas
Photo: Gintautas Geguzinskas, Mayor of Pasvalys Municipality

LRT reported that flames rose 160 feet (50 m) into the air and could be seen from at least 11 miles (17 km) away.

Povelas Balciunas, head of public administration in the nearby town of Pasquales, told Reuters the flames were still burning at 5.50pm GMT.

Paswallis has a total population of around 6,500.

“Firefighters are not controlling the fire at the moment, because at the moment it is a big gas torch, and all efforts to put it out will be futile, it will just waste water,” Mr Balciunas said. said

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.

Photo: Gintautas Geguzinskas
Photo: Gintautas Geguzinskas, Mayor of Pasvalys Municipality

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. .

“It appears to be a large enough fire that authorities have had to evacuate a large area around the blast site, as a precaution.

“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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