An explosion involving a gas main transporting natural gas between Lithuania and Latvia occurred on January 13th. The incident was attended by local emergency services who contained the incident with no reported casualties.
The explosion took place in the Pasvalys district of Lithuania, where fames of up to 150ft were reported to have been seen for miles as captured by footage from local news broadcasters.
The gas in the 18 km of pipeline between the closed taps burned for about 4 hours according to Amber Grid, the gas transmission operator for Lithuania.
In a press release, Amber Grid’s CEO, Nemunas Biknius, said “We regret this incident in the gas pipeline system. We immediately started to investigate the circumstances of the incident and ensure gas supply to consumers. “
“At the moment, all our efforts and those of the responsible services are focused on containing the consequences of the fire and ensuring safety.”
“We have immediately informed Government representatives, the Energy Distribution Operator (ESO) and Pasvalys city authorities about the situation. We will provide more details on the circumstances of the incident as we have more details.”
Gas pipeline restoration was carried out following the incident to repair the damages and to support ongoing investigations into the cause of the explosion.
In a further statement released on January 16th detailing Amber Grid’s restoration and maintenance efforts, Mr Biknius added “Consistent maintenance and safety of gas pipelines is one of Amber Grid’s top priorities. Every year we draw up annual maintenance plans and work schedules for trunk pipelines, and allocate tasks to our employees according to these plans. Inspection work is recorded in databases and a photo archive of the work is kept. However, main gas pipelines are considered to be high-risk all over the world, so protection zones are established around them, regulating the distance from which residential houses or other facilities can be built.”
For more information and updates on Friday’s gas pipeline incident, please visit https://www.ambergrid.lt/en/media-service/press-releases.