World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 14 were killed and 15 injured when a gas pipeline exploded in southern India on Friday.
The blast occurred, at a site belonging to the state-owned Gas Authority of India Limited, at approximately 5.30 am local time in Nagaram village in the East Godavari district, creating panic among sleeping villagers.
It took more than two hours to control the raging fire, which burnt houses and coconut trees in the nearby village.
"As per initial reports we have received, 14 deaths have been reported and some more are critically injured and undergoing treatment," Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, finance minister for the state of Andhra Pradesh, where the blast occurred, told reporters.
Angry villagers have accused the Gas Authority of negligence, saying the gas pipes were “old” and “rusted”. According to media reports, many villagers are still feared trapped and death toll is expected to rise.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu ordered an investigation into the exact cause of the fire. Naidu, a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's federal government, said he was shocked by the major accident.
In a message on social media website Twitter, Modi offered his condolences to the families of the deceased and said he had instructed senior officials from the Gas Authority to supervise the relief operation.Last Mod: 27 Haziran 2014, 10:19