The area around a gas well of Baghjan oil field in Assam's Tinsukia district has been ablaze for the past three days. The gas from the oil well had been leaking for 14 days before it caught fire on Tuesday resulting in a blaze so massive that it can be seen from 30 km away. On Wednesday, bodies of two firefighters were discovered in the area. Thousands have already been evacuated from the surrounding area.
According to India Today TV, officials have said that the fire would take weeks to die down as gas is still leaking from the oil well. Firefighting operations are on and the government has announced a probe and several relief measures.
Here's all you need to know about the Assam oil well fire:
- The fire caused by the gas leak has damaged a stretch of the forest, houses and vehicles. Heightened tensions caused by the damage led to the locals attacking OIL employees.
- Around 7,000 people have been evacuated from the surrounding areas and shifted to 12 relief camps.
- Assam Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal has already ordered a high-level inquiry into the events that ultimately led to a blowout and the subsequent fire. The inquiry would be conducted by Additional Chief Secretary Maninder Singh and the report will be submitted within the next 15 days. The inquiry will look into allegations of negligence against some officials.
- The Assam government has said that it will give Rs 50 lakh for immediate relief to the people of Baghjan area who have been displaced because of the fire. The state has also announced that people who have lost their properties will also get compensation.
- Oil India Limited will provide Rs 30,000 each to the family of people who were displaced from their homes due to fire and are living in relief camps.
- Oil India's CMD has assured the DC and SP of Tinsukia that the fire at the well be controlled and put out within the next 21 days
- The CMD has also said that the firefighters who have lost their lives will be posthumously awarded bravery medals by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Oil India will give Rs 1 crore to firefighter Tikheswar Gohain's family and Rs 60 lakh to the family of Durlov Gogoi based on their years of service at Oil India.
- Both firefighters were cremated with state owners on Wednesday night at their respective native villages.
- PM Narendra Modi has assured Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal of all possible assistance to the victims and help in resolving the situation.
- Assam CM has condoled the deaths and said that he had requested the Petroleum Ministry to compensate for the victims of the fire.