Lithuania-Latvia gas pipeline hit by explosion, operator says

A gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Latvia was hit by an explosion, no injuries have been reported as of yet.

 View towards Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the Baltic Sea Pipeline Link in the industrial area of Lubmin, Germany, August 30, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER)
View towards Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the Baltic Sea Pipeline Link in the industrial area of Lubmin, Germany, August 30, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/LISI NIESNER)

A gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Latvia was hit by an explosion on Friday, Lithuania gas transmission operator Amber Grid told Reuters.

The fire has, reportedly, gone out.

A video published by Lithuania's public broadcaster LRT showed a fire raging at the blast site in the Panevezys county in northern Lithuania.

The extent of the fire

Flames rose some 50 metres (160 feet) in the air and could be seen at a distance of at least 17 km (11 miles), LRT reported.

"We are investigating the cause of the explosion," the Amber Grid spokesperson said.

Povilas Balciunas, the head of public administration in the nearby town of Pasvalys, told Reuters the flames were still burning at 1750 GMT.

  General view of the gas station near the border between Ukraine and Poland in the settlement of Drozdovychi, 120 km (75 miles) west of Lviv, January 12, 2009 (credit: Vitaliy Hrabar/Reuters) General view of the gas station near the border between Ukraine and Poland in the settlement of Drozdovychi, 120 km (75 miles) west of Lviv, January 12, 2009 (credit: Vitaliy Hrabar/Reuters)

"The firefighters are not fighting the fire at the moment, as currently it's a big torch of gas, and all effort to put it out would be futile, it would just waste water," Balciunas said.

"The firefighters are not fighting the fire at the moment, as currently it's a big torch of gas, and all effort to put it out would be futile, it would just waste water, Firefighters are standing nearby in case the fire spreads"

Povilas Balciunas, Head of Public administration 

Police were preparing to evacuate a village near the site, Baltic news agency BNS reported.

There were no injuries or fatalities reported, BNS added.