LVOV, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Gas supply to Uzhgorod, the administrative center of Ukraine’s Transcarpathian region, has resumed fully ten days after a major pipeline accident.
“It’s been quite a trial for nearly 120,000 residents of the city,” Uzhgorod Mayor Viktor Pogorelov told a Friday press conference. “Ninety-five teams of repairmen with 15 machines cleaned up consequences of the accident. Kiev and other Ukrainian regions assisted the repairs,” he said.
Local shops ran out of electric stoves, water heaters and frozen dinners five days after the accident, and the majority of 120,000 residents said they ate nothing but sandwiches. Some built a fire to cook food.
However, the city authorities managed to prevent panic. “Water supply is steady; bread is supplied from three nearby districts, and schools and kindergartens have electric stoves to heat food for the children,” the city executive committee said.
The accident happened on August 29 during unauthorized earthmoving works done to the order of a local energy company. The workers damaged a gas pipe near a cafe. A cafe guest lit a cigarette and the explosion happened. Three people were hurt. A cafe worker got burns on 90% of her skin. The woman died, and the other two victims are still at the hospital.
The gas and air mixture rapidly filled sewage and communication shafts and the area with a population of 5,000 was cut off from electricity and water supply.
The Ukrainian president and premier took the Uzhgorod situation under control. A criminal case was opened. The culprits face from eight to twelve years in custody.