Vijayawada: A gas leakage from a rig well in Uppidi village under Katrenikona Mandal in East Godavari district that spread a fear-psychosis among the locals has been contained by experts flown in from Mumbai on Tuesday.
The people in Uppidi and Nagicheruvu heaved a sigh of relief after the end of the ordeal.

It may be recalled that the leakage began Sunday evening and continued till Tuesday morning. Though ONGC teams from Narsapuram, Rajahmundry and Tatipaka made several attempts to control the leak, their efforts went in vain following which an SOS was sent to professionals from Mumbai, who soon after their arrival pumped mud water into the rig. This helped control the gas pressure and later they closed the gas valve and brought the situation under control.

The rig well is operated by PFH Oil and Gas Private Limited, a private agency and the leaked gas smelt like diesel.

“As the rig well is a few meters away from the village, we appealed to the villagers to refrain from lighting anything and later we evacuated people of Uppidi and Nagicheruvu villages,” said East Godavari District Collector, D Muralidhar Reddy.

The officials shut down power in the mandal as a precautionary measure. Over 400 families from Uppidi and Nagicheruvu villages, along with their cattle and livestock, have been shifted to relief camps at Cheyuru.
Fire Service personnel clarified that gas had only leaked from the rig well and not at the pipeline, as was feared by the locals.

It is not inflammable as hydrocarbon content is less than two per cent, and could contain some methane. Police and Revenue officials said that the cause of the gas leakage appeared to be poor maintenance.

The District Collector said that an inquiry into the incident is underway. This was the second gas pipeline leak incident reported in East Godavari district in the last one week.

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