Gas Authority of India Limited sources on Wednesday said that though the flames which had arisen after the GCS-II ONGC pipeline burst were brought under control within three hours, the blaze had caused ‘enormous’ damage to the local ecology.
The gas pipeline, belonging to the Gas Authority of India Limited from GCS-II ONGC well at Ponnamanda village of Mamidikuduru mandal in Konaseema in East Godavari district had burst and caught fire on Tuesday night.
According to ONGC sources, the flames from the pipeline touched a height of 70 to 80 metres, reducing 500 coconut trees to ashes and singed fish and prawns in 30 acres of water bodies.
The huge flames also damaged paddy crop in 50 acres of fertile lands in the region. According to sources, the crop value in each acre of coconut plantation is estimated to be anything between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
Two motor cycles and two oil engines also caught fire in the incident.
After struggling for more than three hours, the fire department officials put off the fire. The officials said there was no cause for concern. The sources said that the damage to agriculture and other properties are yet to be estimated. Once the damage is estimated, the petrochemical majors would pay adequate compensation to the victims.
The bursting of the pipeline is eerily reminiscent of an earlier blowout on September 8, 2005 in which seven persons working at the ONGC well at Tandavapalli village near Amalapuram town were killed. That blowout was so severe that the oil rig and four vehicles parked nearby melted in the heat.