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Explosion hits gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Latvia – nearby village evacuated

A gas pipeline linking Lithuania and Latvia was damaged by an explosion.

According to Amber Grid, the explosion took place in Panevezys, in northern Lithuania.

LRT, a Lithuanian broadcaster, stated that Valakeliai with approximately 250 residents was being evacuated to avoid any possible disasters.

Nemunas Bikonius, Amber Grid’s general director, stated that the initial data did not show any injuries or property damage. An investigation into the incident will be initiated.


He stated that although we don’t see any malign causes in the initial assessment, the investigation will explore all options.

According to the Baltic News Service, Raimonds Cudars, Latvia’s energy minister was told that the explosion was the result of a technical accident.

Image Photo: Gintautas Geguzinskas (Mayor at Pasvalys municipality).

LRT reported that flames rose to 165ft (50m) in the air. They could be seen from at least 11 miles (17 km) away.

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After firefighters had to wait to deal with the flames, fires were now extinguished.

“After the incident the valves of gas pipeline were tightened. “We do not see any adverse effects on the gas pipe,” said Mr Biknius.

According to the CEO of the Lithuanian pipe grid operator, gas supply to Latvia has been restored after it was temporarily suspended.

Gintautas Geguzinskas (Mayor of Pasvalys District) told LRT that they don’t know the cause of the explosion.

“I spoke with a few people who were near the scene. They said that they had seen some work done earlier today near the area where the explosion occurred. “I can’t confirm whether this is true or false.”

Two parallel pipelines form the gas transmission system for the area. Initial data indicate that the explosion took place in one of these pipelines.

The other pipeline was unaffected.

Gas is being delivered to the Pasvalys area via the pipeline.

There are approximately 6,500 people living in the area.

Image Photo: Gintautas Geguzinskas (Mayor at Pasvalys municipality).

Sky’s Dominic Waghorn stated: “It appears that some type of device or a terrible incident ignited the pipeline sufficiently to allow enough gas to escape to cause this kind opportunistic fireball.

“The reason for this is that we have witnessed attacks on civilian energy infrastructures both within Ukraine and in Russia, as a result of the war.

It is not clear if the pipeline in Lithuania is connected to war, but it is certain that it is not something that happens to pipelines with no presumably sinister motive.”


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