A massive fire has engulfed a natural-gas producing well of Oil India Limited (OIL) in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district. Media reports said the fire began this afternoon and there is a possibility of it spreading to adjoining areas. A team of the National Disaster Response Force has been deployed and well killing experts have reportedly been flowin in from Singapore to manage the situation, media reports said. Over 6,000 people living in the nearby areas have been evacuated.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has also spoken to Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in this connection. Reports said the oil well at Baghjan Tinsukia, about 500 kilometres from Guwahati, had a blowout on May 27 and since then had been leaking gas.
Images on social media showed the gas condensate depositing on nearby wetlands and also apparently affecting aquatic life in the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park which is just three kilometres from the oil field. Paddy fields, tea gardens and ponds of nearby villages also reported contamination.
Oil India Limited has also announced financial relief of Rs 30,000 to each of the affected families.