Major fire at GAIL gas pipeline in South Delhi; no causalties

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New Delhi | Updated: January 16, 2015 3:27:54 PM

An explosion took place this morning at a national gas pipeline of GAIL in Delhi.

Delhi, Delhi explosion, explosion in Delhi, gas pipeline, gas pipeline delhi, Gas Authority of IndiaThe workers fled after the incident, the gas leaked from the pipeline and spread in a small area. It soon caught fire because of a spark. (Reuters)

A major fire broke out at GAIL’s natural gas pipeline here after it was perforated by civic construction contractors but no one was injured.

The fire at the high-pressure pipeline, which carried gas to consumers like Maruti Udyog, occurred around 0945 hours this morning near Venkateshwara College in Satyaniketan area, South Delhi.

Nearly a dozen fire tenders were pressed into service and it was brought under control by 1100 hours. No one was injured.

“We shut gas flow at both ends of the pipeline and brought the fire under control,” said B C Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director of GAIL India Ltd, the state gas utility which owns the pipeline.

Construction for elevated corridor was being carried out by PWD appointed Hindustan Construction Company. Workers of HCC’s local contractors perforated the underground pipeline while using a drill machine.

While the workers fled after the incident, the gas leaked from the pipeline and spread in a small area. It soon caught fire because of spark.

“Fire tenders were immediately pressed and the fire brought under control,” Tripathi, who was among the first to reach the spot, told PTI here.

A GAIL statement later said: “The incident occurred due to a third party drilling activity without prior permission taken by the agency from GAIL, in spite of the pipeline warning markers located in close proximity to the site.”

An FIR has been lodged.

While there have been no casualties, “the fire damaged a couple of vehicles parked nearby”, it said.

Besides Tripathi, GAIL Director (Projects) Ashutosh Karnatak also rushed to the spot soon after the incident.

The accident will not affect gas supplies to Maruti as alternate line is available for supply but some CNG stations of Indraprastha Gas Ltd may get affected temporarily.

“Efforts are being made to restore gas supply at the earliest. Restoration work of the pipeline has already started,” GAIL said.

“A GAIL gas pipeline near Venketeshwara College caught fire at 9.30 AM due to leakage. 10 fire tenders were pressed into service and the flames were doused off,” a fire official said.

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