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Former Assam CM demands CBI probe into Baghjan blowout tragedy

Former three-time Assam Chief Minister and the senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi demanded the CBI probe into the blowout at the BGR 5 well at Baghjan in Tinsukia alleging gross negligence of Oil India Limited.

“The lapses and gross negligence of OIL resulting Baghjan Oil Well blowout causing immense hardship of the local inhabitants of Baghjan should be inquired into by the CBI,” the octogenarian leader tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited the blowout site along with the Assam Chief Minister Sarbbananda Sonowal on June 14th, 2020 to take stock of the situation.

After the initial blowout on May 27th, 2020, the BGR 5 oil well of Baghjan area was engulfed in a massive fire after a blast on June 9th, 2020 resulting in death of endangered species in and around the national park including the rare dolphins. A dense cloud of smoke was seen erupting out of Oil India BGR 5 well was seen.

Also read: Maguri beel in Assam faces endgame after Baghjan blast

On the next day of the blast, a team of experts arrived from Singapore to Assam, who reached the site on Monday and were supposed to work on it. Many families of nearby villages have been affected badly. Locals fled due to the ensuing situation and so far have been kept in 12 relief centres.

CM orders high-level probe

The Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on June 12th, 2020, ordered a high-level inquiry into the circumstances that led to the blowout at the gas well of OIL in Tinsukia’s Baghjan and a subsequent fire that killed two firefighters.

Almost a week after the incident at well number 5 of OIL at the Baghjan oilfield, the forest department constituted a 10-member high-level inquiry committee to access its impact on wildlife and the ecology in the national park and the wetland adjacent to the oilfield. The team constitutes a group of local experts from various institutions, including a professor from Tezpur University, and will be headed by Chief Wildlife Warden MK Yadav.

Also read: Assam govt orders high-level inquiry into Baghjan blowout incident

The blowout

The blowout happened while workover operations were going on to produce gas from new sand (oil & gas-bearing reservoir) at a depth of 3,729 metres. Earlier, the well was producing around 1 lakh Standard Cubic Metre per day (SCMD) of gas from a depth of 3,870 metres,” an Oil India statement said.

An explosion or blowout means that there has been an uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas from an oil well or gas well. This happens after pressure control systems fail.

The workover operations were being carried out by Chartered Hire Rig owned by John Energy under the supervision of OIL, an OIL statement said.

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