Gas pipeline fire in Andhra angers villagers

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Hyderabad, June 27: A gas pipeline explosion and fire in a village in Andhra Pradesh early Friday has angered its people. The blast triggered a blaze that claimed the lives of 14 people and injured many others, officials said.

The blast took place in a Gail gas pipeline in Nagaram village in East Godavari district.

Irate villagers staged a protest at the Gas Collection Station (GCS) near the village and vented their anger by damaging a few vehicles parked there.

According to officials, all the victims of the explosion are villagers. They include three women and three children. The blast occurred in the pipeline carrying gas to Lanco power station. The pipeline is maintained by GAIL India.

The villagers said their lives were endangered by laying the pipeline through the residential area. They alleged that the officials did not take measures for their safety despite several complaints.

State Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu said the locals had complained of gas smell and rust to the pipeline in the past but the officials did not take any action.

"We have asked the district collector to submit a report. Action will be taken against those found guilty," said the minister who hails from the coastal district.

He said the fire also damaged coconut trees and crop in a 10-acre area.

IANS

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