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Italy declares state of emergency due to explosion at Austrian gas hub

December 12, 2017, 18:37 UTC+3 ROME

The blast that rocked the gas hub at Baumgarten in Austria has reportedly left one dead and several injured, forcing the operator OMV to shut the facility

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© AP Photo/Ronald Zak

ROME, December 12. /TASS/. Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development has introduced a state of emergency due to the accident at the gas distribution station in Austria, according to the ministry’s official statement.

"Deliveries of Russian gas to Italy through Austria have been interrupted due to an accident there. According to the national rules and regulations of the EU, the ministry introduces a state of emergency. The gas supply is guaranteed at the expense of available reserves, "the ministry says.

Earlier, Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda stressed the need to diversify the country’s gas supply system. Italy depends on import of energy carriers by almost 80%. Russian gas accounts for one third of all gas that comes to the Apennines.

The number of people who were wounded in the result of the explosion on the territory of a gas distribution station of Austria’s OMV near Baumgarten an der March grew to 21 people, the local police reported.

"According to the latest information, 21 people were wounded, one of them is in serious condition, one person was killed," the police said.

The explosion on the territory of a gas distribution station of Austria’s OMV near Baumgarten an der March because of a technical malfunction earlier on Tuesday resulted in a major fire and complete stoppage of gas transportation over this gas pipeline. The affected gas terminal distributes gas delivered from Russia and Norway to Germany, Italy, France, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. One third of Russian gas exports to Europe run through Baumgarten an der March.

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