Threat to national park, wetlands after India gas well blowout

About 2,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as authorities struggle to control gas pouring from an exploded well near a popular ecotourism spot in northeastern India.

The gas well in an oil field managed by state-owned Oil India Ltd blew out last Wednesday in Tinsukia district of Assam state, and “started releasing natural gas in an uncontrolled manner”, the company said.

Authorities have established an exclusion zone of 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) around the oil and gas field, Tinsukia deputy commissioner Bhaskar Pegu said.

Some locals complained of eye irritation and headaches, while one person was taken to hospital, officials said.

The carcass of a river dolphin and an unknown number of fish were found in a lake close to the area, environmentalists said. Officials were examining the dolphin to determine the cause of death.

Locals told AFP that nearby grasslands were affected by the leak. Dead snakes were found in the area and they were afraid condensate from the blowout would lead to the death of other wildlife.

Officials told AFP on Monday that the forest department was still assessing the impact on local wildlife.

ET Energy World
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