The injured have been sent to nearby government hospitals at Kakinada, Rajolu and Amalapuram following the blast that took place at 5.30 am, according to reports.

The 18-inch diameter pipeline supplies gas to a power plant operated by Lanco Infratech Ltd.
ONGC officials with the help of police and fire extinguishers have controlled the fire. Several houses, shops and coconut gardens in about 15 acres have been reduced to ashes in the fire, which rose to a height of more than 200 feet.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is in Delhi since Thursday, has left for the spot along with Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Expressing profound grief over the loss of lives, Naidu earlier in the day ordered an enquiry into the untoward incident.

“My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in East Godavari blast. Ordered an enquiry & action plan to avoid these in future,” Naidu said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

“Asked Dy CM Chinarajappa to go to the ONGC pipeline blast site and provide required support. We need a preventive plan to ensure safety,” he added.

Oil Minister Pradhan has constituted a high-level committee to probe the blast.

President Pranab Mukherjee has offered condolences to the families of the deceased.

In his message to Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, President Mukherjee said that he is extremely saddened to learn about the explosion of the GAIL gas pipeline in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh in which some persons have lost their lives and many others are injured.

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“I am sure that the State Government and other agencies are taking necessary steps to provide urgent medical assistance to the injured and all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also condoled the loss of lives and asked Petroleum Minister, Cabinet Secretary and GAIL chairman to ensure immediate relief at the accident site.

Modi has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs two lakh from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in GAIL pipeline fire.

“My thoughts with the families of those who lost their lives in the GAIL Pipeline fire in AP. Prayers with the injured,” Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

“I have spoken to the Petroleum Minister, Cabinet Secretary & GAIL Chairman and asked them to ensure immediate relief at the accident site," he added.

An ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000 has also been sanctioned for those who were seriously injured in the incident. This is in addition to the relief assistance given by the Petroleum Ministry and GAIL.

ONGC shuts some wells in East Godavari post GAIL pipeline fire

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has shut some wells on two on-land gas fields in East Godavari district.
"The pipeline carried gas from our fields to consumers. Naturally if the pipeline is not there we have to shut some wells," ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf said.
Production will not be impacted much, he said.
ONGC Director (Onshore) Ashok Varma said the fire occurred a few hundred meters from ONGC's Tatipaka Refinery at Nagaram village in Amalapuram Mandal.
"Fields that fed gas into the pipeline will be impacted. Some wells are being shut," he said, adding that gas supplies will be restored once the pipeline is repaired.
The pipeline where the incident occurred was a dedicated line carrying gas to Lanco's 1,466 MW Kondapalli power plant.
Supplies to the plant are being arranged through alternate lines.



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