Azeri gas flow cut after pipeline blast

Azeri gas flow cut after pipeline blast

Azeri gas flow cut after pipeline blast

District governor and other local officials visit the explosion site on the Shah Deniz II natural gas pipeline near Sarıkamış district of the eastern province of Erzurum. DHA photo

A fire that broke out following an explosion on a section of the Shah Deniz II natural gas pipeline in eastern Turkey last night has been extinguished. The flow of gas to Turkey from Azerbaijan stopped temporarily following the explosion, Energy Ministry officials said.

The explosion took place near the town of Sarıkamış late on May 29, a ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, told The Associated Press yesterday. Azerbaijan shut down the gas flow following the explosion, which sparked a fire, the official said, adding that although the fire had been put out, it was not clear how long repairs would take.

The flames following the explosion reached a height of 100 meters, and the windows of houses two kilometers away from the explosion site were broken, Doğan news agency reported.

Construction works blamed for explosion
BOTAŞ, Turkey’s state-run petroleum pipeline company, was doing some work near the pipeline at the time, Sarıkamış Kaymakam district Governor Erdoğan Turan Ermiş told Doğan news agency. “The explosion was probably the result of that work, but it will be clear when the probe is over,” he said.

No casualties resulted from the explosion, because it took place in an area away from residential zones, Sarıkamış Mayor İlhan Özbilen, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said, adding that the initial investigation had revealed no signs of sabotage.