Titas pipeline on blaze after hit by trawler | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 25, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 25, 2008

Titas pipeline on blaze after hit by trawler


Deck hands try to take their boat around a fire caused by a rupture in the underwater gas pipeline in a branch of the Turag at Amin Bazar yesterday.Photo: Anisur Rahman

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A portion of an underwater gas pipeline on the bed of River Turag went up in flames yesterday at Aminbazar in Savar as the lower part of a cargo vessel pierced through it.
Gas transmission in parts of the capital was disrupted following the accident.
Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd personnel with the help of Fire Service and Civil Defence divers tried to restore the damaged pipeline last night. But their attempts failed and they would resume their job today, fire brigade sources said last night.
The pipeline is about 12 feet under water in the Turag and the damaged portion is about six to eight inches in diameter, said Abul Khair, one of the fire service divers, adding that the damaged portion has to be cut off and replaced with a new section of pipe.
The fire died down at around 1:00pm after the Titas Gas authorities turned off the supply of gas through the pipeline from Ashulia to Aminbazar.
Residents living in parts of Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Agargaon and Aminbazar areas in the city said they experienced low pressure of gas following the supply shutdown. Witnesses said gas started to spew out with massive force after the vessel loaded with sand damaged the pipeline at around 8:30am.
"Soon after the propeller of the vessel hit the pipeline with a bang, a huge swirl was created in the river and we thought our boat was sinking," said Badsha Mian, sailor of the cargo vessel.
The colossal force of gas coming out through the damaged portion of the pipeline hit the 1.33-lakh KV live electric wires running above the river, causing sparks and the sparks resulted in the gas fire, said a Titas Gas engineer.
"The gas was discharging with such enormous force that the blaze reached as high as 80 to 120 feet," said a worker of a nearby brickfield. The flames of the gas fire were visible a few kilometres away while thousands of people from nearby villages gathered at the scene.
Eight of the electric wires caught fire and fell in the river, said witnesses.
The firemen reached the spot at around 9:30am, but could not do much as the source of the fire was underneath the water.
Three divers from the fire service were later called in to help Titas Gas repair the pipeline.
"We will repair the hole on the pipeline through plumbing and we expect it to be finished by today," said engineer Aminur Rahman, director operations of Titas Gas.

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