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4 killed, 6 injured in AGCL pipeline blast


DIBRUGARH, Sept 1 � At least four persons were charred to death and six sustained burn injuries in a high decibel gas pipeline blast in Hingrijan Tea Estate near Moranhat town in Sivasagar district around 3.40 am today. The gas pipeline, operated by the Assam Gas Company Limited, Duliajan, passes through the tea estate, just close to the housing lines of the TE workers.

The deaths and injuries were caused when the massive fire from the blast engulfed five living houses of TE workers situated nearby, while they were asleep. One Jyoti Sobor (22), reportedly pregnant, died on the spot, while Bhasan Sharma (35), his wife Paros Sharma (30) and Michael Sobor (30) died at the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH).

The couple and Sobor were rushed to the AMCH with 98 per cent burn injuries, attending doctors said. Others sustaining over 90 per cent burn injuries included Marina Baraik (40), Akash Sharma (7) and Hemanta Sharma (9).

Hemkanta Kaul (35) has sustained about 30 per cent burn injury. Menuka Baraik (23) and Durga Baraik (40) who sustained less then 10 per cent burn were released after preliminary medical treatment. The fatalities could rise as the condition of three injured is said to be critical. All injured are undergoing treatment at the AMCH.

The blast, caused by a suspected gas leakage, sparked a huge fire at the site destroying large tracts of paddy field, tea bushes, bamboo groves and nearby vegetation. The TE workers also lost cattle and birds in the razing fire. The magnitude of the blast can be gauged from the fact that it caused a big pit at the site.

Although the fire has been doused now, the cause of the blast has not been ascertained. Deepak Chetia Phukan, Senior Manager, (Human Resource & Administration), AGCL told The Assam Tribune that a team of AGCL personnel was rushed to the blast site to ascertain the cause and take counteractive measures. �We will be able to tell the cause of the blast only after we get the report from the team. We have also formed a committee to look into all kinds of help AGCL could extend to the affected families,� the senior AGCL manager said. On the locals� assertion that there was a leakage of gas in the pipeline for the past few days, AGCL authorities said they had not received any such report.

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