Amid a spike in coronavirus cases and the first wave of floods in Assam, the state is bracing for yet another crisis – for the last four days an oil well owned by Oil India Ltd in Upper Assam has been releasing natural gas into the air after a leak.
Sources said Oil India officials are still working to plug the leak. At least 500 people have been evacuated and taken to a relief camp from village Baghjan in Tinsukia district, some 450 km from Guwahati.
The well exploded in a fountain of crude oil after pressure control systems failed earlier this week. The continuous release of gas threatens sensitive wetlands, a national park and endangered species in the area, sources said.
After the Assam government’s request, the centre and Oil India have sent experts to help bring the gas leak under control.