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Fatal gas plant explosion 'injures 18' and melts cars

14 December 2017

Austria's gas regulator E-Control has reportedly said the blast has derailed gas supplies to Italy, Hungary and Slovenia.

At the moment there are about 18 wounded and one dead. The facility was "shut down in a controlled state and is offline", the company said.

Firefighters stand outside a gas plant after an explosion occurred near Baumgarten an der March, Austria, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.

At least one person was killed and several injured in the explosion on Tuesday morning at Austria's Baumgarten distribution plant, a major hub for the transport of gas from Russian Federation to countries all over Europe.

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Armin Teichert, a spokesman for the site's operator Gas Connect Austria, said that the site had been evacuated and that the facility had been put into "security mode".

The cause of the explosion could have been a technical fault of the filter system, the Gas Connect Austria spokesman said.

Natural gas flows resumed overnight in Europe after an explosion at an Austrian hub threatened supplies already pinched by a closed pipeline in the North Sea and a cold snap across the continent.

Photo Emergency crews at the scene of the fire.

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He added that "technical problems" caused the explosion, and that there was "no indication of terrorism". At least one person was killed and several were injured in the blast.

Italy's SNAM natural gas transport network said flows could resume in the course of the day if it is confirmed that no transport infrastructure was damaged.

Despite the plunge in transit, "Ukraine will timely fulfill the requests of European importing countries and is ready to increase the volume of pumping of gas to Europe after the receipt of relevant applications", a spokesman for the Ukrainian energy ministry Maksim Belyavsky told RIA Novosti.

Slovakia's main gas transit route to Austria was suspended after the fire, Slovak pipeline operator Eustream said.

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In Britain, Europe's biggest gas market, gas for immediate delivery soared 40 percent to 95 pence per therm, a level not seen since 2013.

Fatal gas plant explosion 'injures 18' and melts cars