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More than a dozen killed in blast at GAIL India gas pipeline

NEW DELHI: More than a dozen people were killed on Friday after a blast at a gas pipeline operated by state-owned energy company GAIL (India) Ltd (GAIL.NS) in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, the company said.

“As per the information received from the GAIL official at the site there are 13-14 casualties,” a GAIL spokeswoman said. The victims were local residents and a fire at the scene had been brought under control.

The 18-inch diameter pipeline supplies gas to a power plant operated by Lanco Infratech Ltd. (LAIN.NS).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the federal oil ministry and GAIL chairman to ensure immediate relief at the scene, according a statement issued by his office.

The state government has ordered an inquiry and will set an action plan to avoid similar accidents in future, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said in a tweet.

Initial reports suggested that the blast had affected an oil refinery operated by state-controlled oil company ONGC (ONGC.NS), but the refinery is located some 50 km away and is not connected to the gas pipeline.

GAIL’s shares declined 0.74 percent at 0442 GMT while LNCO Infratech’s shares were marginally up. (Reuters)

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