Indian gas pipeline explosion kills 15 people, destroys scores of houses

A state-owned gas pipeline exploded and burst into flames Friday, killing at least 15 people, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of neighbouring villages in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, authorities said.

HYDERABAD, India — A state-owned gas pipeline exploded and burst into flames Friday, killing at least 15 people, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of neighbouring villages in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, authorities said.

Flames rose more than 80 feet (25 metres) into the air, scorching the tops of coconut and palm trees and sending dense black clouds of smoke into the sky, witnesses said. Villagers ran out of their homes and crowded the streets. Scores of houses and shops were gutted, officials said.

State Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said the death toll rose to 15 when one of the injured succumbed to burn injuries.

Vandana Chanana, a top official of state-run Gas Authority of India Ltd., said 14 other people were injured in the fire in the state’s East Godavari district. Doctors said at least five of the injured were in critical condition, company officials said.

Andhra Pradesh Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa said the explosion occurred at about 5:30 a.m. in Nagaram village, the site of a connecting station for the gas company.

The fire burned for more than three hours before it was brought under control, Rajappa said.

“The extent of damage is being assessed,” he said.

Company officials said it was too early to say what caused the explosion. In New Delhi, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the federal government has set up a panel to investigate the cause.

Nagaram residents said they had complained that the gas pipelines had not been properly maintained, but were ignored.

“People are angry that GAIL authorities didn’t pay heed when they complained that the pipes had become rusty,” Ramakrishnudu told reporters.

Residents of neighbouring villages were evacuated to safer areas, said East Godavari district collector Neetu Kumari Prasad.

Nagaram is about 560 kilometres (350 miles) east of the state capital, Hyderabad.

Two weeks ago, six people were killed and 29 others injured in an explosion and a subsequent gas pipeline leak at India’s biggest government-run steel plant in the central Indian state of Chattisgarh.

Just Posted

WATCH: Sun shines on Red Deer’s Westerner Days parade

Downtown Red Deer was filled with marching bands, parade floats, politicians, waving… Continue reading

$26,000 worth of tools stolen from business

Red Deer RCMP investigate break and enter

“Piece of paradise” purchased by ACA near Caroline to help preserve trout habitat

Alberta Conservation Association buys 153-acres along Raven River

Innisfail RCMP investigate possible stolen dogs

Eight dogs seized from hotel room

Watch: Your Westerner Days Parade photos

Red Deerians line downtown streets to enjoy annual Westerner Days kick-off

Study links air pollution to drop in national park visitors

DENVER — Visitors appear to be steering clear of some U.S. national… Continue reading

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontari

Three cubs found abandoned in a washroom along the Trans-Canada Highway in… Continue reading

Canada could get caught in cross-fire of U.S. uranium investigation

Canada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of… Continue reading

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet, shuffling… Continue reading

Canada’s premiers meet Indigenous groups, although three major groups decline

BOUCTOUCHE, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are meeting with Indigenous organizations in New… Continue reading

An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle

OTTAWA — An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle,… Continue reading

U.S. launches national security investigation against uranium imports

The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched another national security investigation that… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month