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Pasvalys, Lithuania, in the region where the pipeline exploded (File photo) Shutterstock/Violeta Beigiene

Gas pipeline explodes in Lithuania with no injuries reported

The blast happened as Lithuania marked the anniversary of Soviet troops trying and failing to reoccupy it in 1991.

AN EXPLOSION DAMAGED a gas pipeline in northern Lithuania today, with no injuries reported, according to operator Amber Grid.

The explosion happened at around 5pm (7pm GMT) in the Pasvalys district, the operator said in a statement.

Firefighting teams attended the scene.

“According to initial data, no people were injured,” Amber Grid said.

“The explosion took place away from residential buildings.”

The system at the site had two parallel pipelines, and although the supply to one had been interrupted, the other was operating normally and local consumers were still being supplied, according to the statement.

Amber Grid’s chief executive Nemunas Biknius said they had already launched an investigation.

Since June 2022, Lithuania has banned the import of gas from Russia in a bid to reduce its energy dependence on its neighbour in the context of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

After Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania was heavily dependent on Russian gas until it brought into service a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Klaipeda, on the Baltic Sea.

Then, in 2022, it launched a pipeline linking the three Baltic states to the European gas network, via Poland.

Today’s blast happened as Lithuania marked the anniversary of the day in 1991 when Soviet troops crossed the border in a failed bid to reoccupy it after the country had declared independence.

© AFP 2022

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