Global experts working at the well before the incident took place

Tinsukia: Three global experts, hired by public sector giant Oil India Limited (OIL) to head the operation to cap the well at Baghjan in Assam’s Tinsukia district, were injured in a blast on Wednesday afternoon. The incident that took place at a time when the experts were removing a flange — an important leg of the operation before placement of blowout preventer (BOP), prompting the OIL authorities to call off the operations.

The three global experts, all from the Canadian firm Alert Damage Control have sustained injuries. While Anthony Steven Reynolds and Craig Neil Duncan have minor burn injuries, Doug Dallas has sustained severe burn injuries on his right hand.

Confirming the development, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said that the global experts were removing a flange when all of a sudden a “fire” hit the three global experts. “The operation to remove the flange had almost reached the end, when the gas suddenly blew out in a certain direction, resulting flames of fire on the experts. However, they managed to move out from the place on their own and later the operation was successfully completed before calling off the operations,” he added.

Fire after the blast

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Two of them have sustained minor injuries and were immediately treated by OIL doctors. “The third has severe burn injury on the hand and all the three have been admitted at a private nursing home in Dibrugarh,” Hazarika added.

According to a top source, OIL had planned to install the BOP on Thursday for which removing the flange was a crucial portion of the operation.

Hazarika said that an important meeting has been called on Wednesday evening during which next course of action on how to go ahead with the operation to cap the well will be decided. “We are hopeful that two experts will be back in Duliajan to attend the meeting and continue to head the operations,” he said.

Locals, meanwhile, said they heard a huge sound coming from the well where operation to douse the inferno is on.

The “blowout” occurred at the gas well number 5 at Baghjan oilfield while work over operations was operations was going on to produce gas from new sand (oil and gas bearing reservoir) at a depth of 3,729 metres, leaving natural gas and condensate oil gush to hundred feet of in the air and spill all around. The well caught fire on June 9 and continues to rage.

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