Massive Explosion Rips Through Russian Oil And Gas Field 

1 Massive Explosion Rips Through Russian Oil And Gas Field 

An “Armageddon-like” explosion has ripped through a strategic oilfield in the east Siberian district of Ust-Kut, Irkutsk region.

The explosion sent massive flames leaping into the sky from the giant blaze at the Markovskoye facility. The inferno raged throughout the night and covered an area of 1,000 square metres, as 155 firefighters struggled to contain it.

The incident is just the latest in a series of fires at commercial and industrial sites in Russia, sparking fears of deliberate acts of sabotage.

Irkutsk’s Regional Governor Igor Kobzev wrote on his Telegram channel that one person was reported hurt in the incident, according to preliminary information.

However, reports circulating on social media channels suggest that as many as five people have been killed.
Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies in Irkutsk said the fire broke out at a gas treatment unit at the Markovsky oil and gas condensate field.

It is believed it was started as a result of an explosion caused by a gas leak on Sunday at around 11pm local time.

Local media said shift workers from nearby villages were evacuated from their homes and taken to Irkutsk.

In a statement issued to the press, Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies said: “A private firefighting service and local volunteer firefighters are taking effort to put out a fire at a gas treatment unit at the Markovsky field some 2.5 kilometres of the settlement of Verkhnemarkovo in the Irkutsk region.

“According to preliminary data, a jet fire is reported from the area. The fire has consumed an area of around 1,000 square kilometres. There is not threat to other units.”

The Markovskoye field was discovered in 1962 and is operated by the Irkutsk Oil Company, which obtained a license in 2000.

The company is co-owned by Russian billionaire Nikolai Buninov.

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