An explosion damaged a gas pipeline connecting Lithuania and Latvia, operated by the Amber Grid company, but there were no injuries. It happened in the district of Pasvalys, in the north of Lithuania, towards the border with Latvia: the flames reached a height of 50 meters and were visible from a distance of about 17 km.
The general manager of Amber Grid, Nemunas Biknius, said that from the first assessments it does not appear that the explosion was of the arson type, but the investigations to find out the cause are still ongoing and no possibility has been ruled out.
He added that the gas supply to Latvia has been suspended, but only temporarily, that the flames will be extinguished in the next few hours and that restoration work will start tomorrow.
The explosion occurred near a highway: traffic was disrupted. The nearby village of Valakeliai, which has about 250 inhabitants, was evacuated as a precaution.
The gas in the area is transported by two parallel pipelines: Amber Grid explained in a statement that the explosion hit one, but the other was not damaged.
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