Massive explosion reported at major Lithuanian gas pipeline

No “malign cause” yet suspected, operator says.

Updated: January 14, 2023 - 6:38pm

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A massive explosion was reported at a major gas pipeline in Lithuania on Friday, with scenes on social media showing the fiery conflagration as the pipe’s operator said no sabotage is yet suspected.

Twitter users posted scenes of the blaze on Friday showing towering flames at the pipeline, with reports that a nearby town had to be evacuated due to the incident. 

Nemunas Biknius, the chief executive of the country’s dominant natural gas utility Amber Grid, told media that “according to the initial assessment, we do not see any malign cause, but the investigation will cover all possible options." 

"We do not see the signs of any potential impact from outside,” he said.

The pipe has reportedly undergone recent maintenance work, Bikinis said. 

The blaze was occurring at a section of the pipe located near the Latvian border.