Explosion cuts briefly gas deliveries to Turkey via Bulgaria

15th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A transit pipeline blast briefly cut supplies of Russian natural gas to Turkey, Bulgaria's gas transit operator Bulgartransgaz and local police said Wednesday.

"An accident occurred at 15:51 pm (1251 GMT) Monday in one of two transit pipelines carrying natural gas to Turkey," Bulgartransgaz said in a statement.

Supplies were reconnected at 20:15 pm the same day and it expected to fully repair the defected pipeline by Friday, the company added.

No one was injured in the accident near the southeastern village of Gorska Polyana on the border with Turkey, said the company.

Although the blast left a large crater and burned 10 hectares (25 acres) of the surrounding shrubland, there were no injuries, police confirmed.

Initial inquiries suggested the blast had been accidental, they added.

Witness Todor Vasilev told the Trud newspaper the blast had felt like an earthquake and described a column of fire rising into the sky.

Bulgaria channels an annual 17 billion cubic metres of gas to neighbouring Turkey and Greece.

© 2010 AFP

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