Fire continues as Baghjan oil field site
Fire continues as Baghjan oil field site|Rishu Kalantri
ASSAM

2 OIL firefighters missing as Baghjan fire continues

Missing fire fighters identified as Durlov Gogoi, Tikeswar Gohain; Army deployed in the area as locals stage protests

Rishu Kalantri

Rishu Kalantri

Tinsukia: Two fire fighters of Oil India Limited (OIL) have gone missing after a massive fire that broke out at a gas well at Baghjan oilfield in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Tuesday night, and continued to rage on Wednesday, gutting down several houses, betel nut trees and whatever came in the way of fire in a radius of around one kilometre.

A column of army was deployed to control the worsening law-and-order situation at the ground and guard the installations.

The development came after several irate villagers went violent and destroyed few vehicles of OIL, prompting the OIL to request the chief secretary of Assam to control the law-and-order situation so that the engineers and other officials deployed at the well site could be evacuated and operations to control fire can start.

Site of the accident
Site of the accident Rishu Kalantri

Confirming the development, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said, two of our fire fighters have been missing. “A massive search operation with the help of NDRF has been launched.”

The fire fighters have been identified as Durlov Gogoi and Tikeswar Gohain.

Hazarika said, “The peripheral fire has died down on its own and due to the efforts of the fire fighters. The fire at the blowout well continues to rage.”

“The global expert team has taken over the charge of the blowout site and has started operation to control the strength of the fire,” added Hazarika.

Army has been deployed in the area
Army has been deployed in the area Rishu Kalantri

Confirming damage to houses, fields and trees, Hazarika said, now, that the situation has been brought under control, assessment to figure the extent of damage due to fire will be carried out jointly by the district administration.

The “blowout” occurred on May 27 at a producing gas well number 5 of OIL, situated in close proximity to the national park and the famous migratory birds habitat Maguri-Motapung Beel, while work-over operations for extracting gas from new sand (oil and gas bearing reservoir) at a depth of 3,729 metres was on, leaving natural gas and condensate oil to gush out and spill all around, turning an entire area of 1.5 kms, including Baghjan village, into a gas chamber.

Wishing anonymity, a senior official in the army said, the district administration has requested them to deploy army jawans after violent protests broke out at Baghjan. “We sent a column from Rupai to control the situation,” the senior officer of the Army said.“Our troops played a vital role in evacuation of stranded OIL and ONGCL officials, including the injured fire fighters, besides helping locals to move to safer locations,” the official added.

The fire, meanwhile, continued to rage the whole night and is burning on Wednesday with the same intensity, rising the temperature of the surrounding area.

Glimpse of devastation in the area
Glimpse of devastation in the area Rishu Kalantri
Bio-diversity in the area has been adversely affected due to the fire
Bio-diversity in the area has been adversely affected due to the fire Rishu Kalantri

“Our troops played a vital role in evacuation of stranded OIL and ONGCL officials, including the injured fire fighters, besides helping locals to move to safer locations,” the official added.

The fire, meanwhile, continued to rage the whole night and is burning on Wednesday with the same intensity, rising the temperature of the surrounding area.

Locals stage violent protests in the area
Locals stage violent protests in the area Rishu Kalantri

“At present, oil’s fire device department at Duliajan has been ghareoed by family members of the missing fire fighters and local people,” sources told this correspondent.

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