Locals in Kasba upazila of Brahmanbaria are in a state of panic as natural gas has been coming out of an under-construction tube-well for three days at a school, about two kilometres away from Salda Gas Field.
The gas has been discharged from the tube-well along with sand and water at huge force, causing the school’s boundary wall and several trees in the vicinity to collapse, reports our Brahmanbaria correspondent quoting officials.
The situation emerged at Sher-e-Bangla High School in Bidyanagar village under Bayek union on Wednesday during drilling of the ground for construction of a tube-well under a government-run project, said Al Mamun Bhuiyan, principal of the school.
“Around 8:00am on Wednesday, water level was found after drilling about 540 feet under the ground. Then, as the workers began to pull up the pipe to set up the filter pipe, gas along with sand and water began coming out of the hole with huge force,” Al Mamun, also chairman of Bayek Union Parishad, said.
“The school compound has become covered with sand and water, and the Shaheed Minar has collapsed, but the gas discharge is not stopping,” he added.
Upazila administration has announced closure of the school as a safety measure amid growing panic among locals.
One family living near the site has been relocated to safety while locals have been advised to maintain caution with fire since the gas is discharging at very high pressure, said Kasba's acting Upazila Nirbahi Officier (UNO) Md Jahangir Alam.
Rezaul Karim, plant operator at Salda Gas Field, told The Daily Star that geological experts will observe the situation for 72 hours, and the Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company (Bapex) authorities have held meetings over the issue.
Necessary steps would be taken once the type of gas being discharged is identified from the specimen collected, he said, adding that it is unlikely to be underground gas at a depth of only 540 feet and is possibly pocket gas.
“The 72-hour observation will end at 8:00am on Saturday. If the situation does not improve by then, steps will be taken in this regard,” the official added.