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Deadly blast at Austrian pipeline hub slashes gas flow to Italy

VIENNA/LONDON: An explosion and fire that ripped through Austria’s main gas pipeline hub on Tuesday killed one person and injured 21 others, prompting Italy to declare a state of emergency as flows from the strategic site were cut off. The Baumgarten site in eastern Austria, near Slovakia, is a major regional transfer node, taking natural gas from as far away as Russia and pumping it towards neighbours including Germany and Italy, its biggest recipient. News of the blast sent gas prices in Europe soaring on fears it…