Monday, May 11, 2009

Now thats a fire !

MOSCOW (AFP) — Moscow on Sunday suffered its worst fire in decades when a gas pipeline blast sent flames bursting into the sky and raised new concerns about the security of Russia's ageing energy infrastructure.

The fire produced spectacular plumes of yellow flames reaching 200 metres (600 feet) high and huge clouds billowing smoke were visible against the night sky, television pictures showed.

Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who rushed to the scene, said that five people had been injured in the fire, including one man who received 35-percent burns, but there had been no fatalities.

The cause of the fire was almost certainly technical in nature, he added, virtually ruling out the possibility of foul play.

"In my opinion, 99 percent sure, this was a technical catastrophe. This all still needs to be investigated," he said in comments on state television.

"The cause could have been an upsurge of pressure in the pipeline, as a result of which an explosion took place underground," he added

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