Baghjan gas well fire not spreading, says district administration

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Tinsukia (Assam), Aug 2 (PTI) The district administration of Tinsukia in Assam on Sunday denied reports that the blaze in Baghjan gas well has spread to other areas, and said that a fire in a farmland, about two km away from the Oil India Limited's site, was caused by burning of bushes.

A section of the media had reported that the fire at Bagjan has spread to neighbouring farmlands which created panic among the people.

A well at Baghjan has been spewing gas uncontrollably following a blowout on May 27 and it caught fire on June 9, which is yet to be doused. An attempt to cap the damaged well failed on Friday.

'The purported news is completely false and the said fire has occurred in a farmland near the Maguri Matapung Beel, approximately 1.5 to 2 kms away from the said Bagjan Oil Well, and was lit to clear the farmland from bushes', a release issued by the district administration said.

'The district administration appeals to all not to fall for such false news and to maintain tranquillity and law and order in the region,' it added.

District officials and policemen are present at the site and monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to cap the well at the earliest, OIL said in a release on Sunday.

It also claimed that the company was facing continued protests and blockades across many of its wells and field locations, leading to heavy production loss since June.

Operations were disrupted in 12 oil wells and five gas wells since May 27.

Assessments and impact studies of the blowout, as well as the blaze in villages and nearby forest areas, by various agencies are going on while the CSIR-North East Institute of Science & Technology (CSIR-NEIST) and IIT-Guwahati have completed collection of data which is being analysed and interpreted now.

Surveys for assessment of damage for compensation by the district administration are also in progress in both Tinsukia and Doomdooma circles and 2,736 families have been surveyed till Saturday, according to the release. PTI DG NN NN