The explosion of the gas pipeline in Austria: one person was killed and over 20 injured

© AFP 2017 / Joe KlamarПожарный near the main gas pipeline node in Baumgarten, Austria. 12 Dec 2017The explosion of the gas pipeline in Austria: one person was killed and over 20 injured© AFP 2017 / Joe Klamar

Explosion at natural gas storage Baumgarten, in the land of lower Austria, which, according to preliminary data, has occurred for technical reasons, claimed the life of one of the company’s employees, 21 people were injured varying degrees of severity.

The explosion occurred on Tuesday morning. The gas hub is fully stopped.

Central European gas hub, located in the Austrian town of Baumgarten on the border with Slovakia, is an international centre for gas trade, among the three largest gas distribution centers in Europe. Via Baumgarten gas station is about a third of all Russian gas supplies to Western Europe.

As reported in the Austrian regulator E-Control, gas consumers in Austria will not be interrupted, as citizens of this country get gas from the tank and unaffected by the incident tributaries. The natural gas pipelines that provide export to Slovenia, Hungary and Italy, currently not working.According to preliminary police data, and a transmission system operator Gas Connect Austria, operating this gas hub, the cause of the incident, a technical malfunction. However, all responsible agencies joined the investigation into the incident.

In addition, in the first hours after the explosion at the hub was set up operational headquarters in the district administration, Gansendorf, fire service and management of the state police, said the head of the Federal land lower Austria Johanna Mikl-Leitner. Later on the establishment of the crisis staff also said gas control Austria E-Control.

As reported by Bloomberg, the press Secretary of the OMV, which owns 51% of the hub’s recovery after the explosion and fire will take not hours, but days; the damage to the hub are significant.

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen, and the head of the Austrian foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased police officer and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

Abroad has suffered

The foreign gas and gas transportation companies have reported problems with supplies.

Thus, the company «Ukrtransgaz», the operator of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, reported a decrease in the volume of transit of Russian gas through Ukraine towards Slovakia (gas metering station «Uzhgorod»), and while the import of gas from Slovakia to Ukraine after the explosion at the hub in Austria is in normal mode, it is expected a slight decline in deliveries from Hungary.

The Ministry of economic development of Italy has declared a state of emergency in connection with the termination of deliveries of Russian gas from Austria in the framework of the European regulation and the national plan of emergency. While there are assured that gas supplies to Italian consumers will be provided as the missing imports will be met through greater allocation of gas from the national underground storage.

Employees of the German energy Uniper believe that the incident will not affect the gas supply of Germany, «as well as on the security of gas supply in Germany as a whole — including because of the German gas storage facilities are well filled, despite the low temperatures (in Germany — ed.)».

However, according to transmission system operator of Slovakia Eustream, the planned volume of gas transit from Russia via Ukraine to the EU on Tuesday reduced four times compared to the actually delivered gas on Monday to 33.8 million cubic meters. According to the representative of the Slovak gas transmission operator Eustream Pavol Cube, the supply of gas from Slovakia to Austria in connection with the incident temporarily suspended, but the situation is under control.

In turn, the head of the Polish energy company PGNiG Maciej, Wozniak said that they offer their emergency services for the elimination of consequences of the explosion at the hub in Baumgarten, Austria the system operator — company Gas Connect Austria — with the use of specialized emergency services, owned by PGNiG rescue station in kraków.

In Austria itself the claim that domestic consumers after the incident will not suffer — in the Austrian regulator E-Control said gas supply will not be interrupted, as citizens of this country get gas from the tank and unaffected by the incident tributaries.

Experts from Russia were not injured

Russian specialists working at the Austrian gas hub Baumgarten, according to preliminary data, was not injured in the explosion, said Tuesday at the Russian Embassy in Austria.

«According to preliminary information, none of the Russian experts working at the Austrian Baumgarten gas station, the result is the morning of the explosion were not injured. The Embassy is in contact with the representative office of «Gazprom export» in Vienna. Continue to monitor the situation,» the Embassy said.

According to the operator of the gas transportation system of Austria Gas Connect Austria, who died and wounded in the explosion in the gas hub in Baumgarten, OMV are citizens of Austria.