At least three foreign experts engaged at the blowout control operations at Baghjan oil well site in Assam’s Tinsukia district sustained burn injuries on July 22.
The oil well, operated by Oil India Limited (OIL), had developed a burst on May 27 and since then it emitted condensate and oil. The site later caught a massive fire on June 9 causing severe damage to the area. The oil well has been burning continuously since then.
OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika said that all the three experts who sustained burn injuries are out of danger and they have been released from hospital at Dibrugarh.
“Anthony Steven Reynolds, Doug Dallas and Craig Neil Duncan from Alert Disaster Control sustained minor burn injuries when they were engaged in blowout control operations at the oil well. While they were removing the spool from the well head, suddenly the fire spread sideways causing the damage. There is no explosion as being reported by some media. They were immediately provided first aid by our doctors at the site and later they were rushed to hospital for further treatment,” Hazarika told The News Mill.
Altogether six foreign experts were working at the site. Out of the six foreign experts, three were from Singapore, two from the US and one from Canada.
“We have stopped the operations today and are likely to resume on July 23. There will be some discussions for the further plan of action this evening. I reiterate, there is no explosion at the site, its fire injury while working at the well,” Hazarika added.
Though the OIL authorities didn’t give a definite time frame, they believe that they will be able to douse the fire soon.
“The team could successfully complete more than 70% of the retrieval job of tubing spool on July 21 and for the remaining work has been commenced on July 22 morning. It is expected that operations will resume at Baghjan tomorrow (July 23),” Hazarika said.
On June 9 when the fire engulfed the well site, two OIL firefighters died near the spot.
(The story was edited to incorporate the statement of OIL spokesperson).