The oil well at Baghjan Tinsukia reported a gas leak on 27th May and has been blowing out for the past 14 days. The incident has created panic among dwellers of the Baghjan village in Assam, where the well is located. Today, a massive fire engulfed the natural gas-producing well belonging to the Oil India Limited (OIL) in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district. As reported by the NDTV, the fire began this afternoon and may end up spreading to adjoining areas.
The incident took place at well number five of the oil field and there were no immediate casualties, as reported by the Scroll.in. However, the OIL warned about gas being leaked “uncontrollably” and accustomed measures to avoid burning.
Currently, the Assam government has put a request to the Air Force and Army to help extinguish the fire. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also had a conversation with Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan after the fire sprang. He appealed to the local people over Twitter to not panic.
#UPDATE Assam: Two persons dead in the massive fire that broke out at the gas well of Oil India Ltd at Baghjan in Tinsukia district yesterday; bodies recovered. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams present at the spot; fire flames continue to erupt from the gas well. https://t.co/fQO40LI5lW pic.twitter.com/qNZU2gssWy
— ANI (@ANI) June 10, 2020
The situation is being reviewed by top officials of Assam; the National Disaster Response Force has also been stationed in the area since the gas leak took place. The incident might cause critical damage to the region’s wetlands and biodiversity.
Social media is fuelling with images shared by the locals, showing condensate deposits in the wetland of Maguri Beel. The damage is a cause for concern for the remaining Gangetic dolphins and other aquatic life in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, hardly three kilometres from the oil field.
— Gulshan Sirohi (@SirohiGulshan) June 9, 2020
The damage to the ecosystem is serious — paddy fields and wetlands in the nearby villages have also been tainted. The leak is getting hazardous with every passing day. Quite a few small-scale tea growers in the area have registered complaints about layers of gas condensation in their tea gardens.
“We are doing a headcount to dismiss all possibilities of injury,” Tridiv Hazarika, Oil India Limited spokesperson, reported Scroll.in. “So, far there have been no cases of major injuries. One person has suffered a minor burn injury.”
Statistically, about 6,000 people are living in the 1.5 km radius of the leaking well who have been evacuated and safely placed in relief camps. The OIL has also claimed a financial relief Rs 30,000 each to the affected families.
This has been a dreadful news for the people of Tinsukia and others in the vicinity. Moreover, a great loss for the flora and fauna that just started to heal.