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Central European Gas Hub explosion halts Russian gas transit to Austria

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

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. Transit deliveries of Russian gas to Austria via Slovakia are temporarily suspended because of the explosion on the gas hub near Baumgarten an der March (Lower Austria) occurred on Tuesday, Slovensky Rozhlas radio station said on Tuesday.

Gas deliveries to the Czech Republic are implemented in full scope, CTK news agency said at the same time.

Natural gas supplies to Austrian regions are implemented normally, Austria’s EAA Gruppe said in its turn.

"Provision of gas to Austria after the explosion in Baumgarten is taking place from reserves in Austrian gas storages. Enterprises of EAA Gruppe prudently accumulated large gas volumes for its consumers in required quantity," press service of EAA Gruppe said.

The explosion on the territory of the gas hub resulted in a major fire and complete stoppage of gas transportation over this gas pipeline to other country, Fire and Rescue Service of Lower Austria region said on Tuesday. The explosion occurred because of a technical malfunction, the police said.

 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 contingency affected the largest Austrian gas terminal dealing with distribution of Russian gas in Europe. Causes of the incident are investigated.

Gas supplies to Italy

Gas supplies from Russia to Italy have been temporarily interrupted, but may be resumed later in the day, SNAM gas transportation company said on Tuesday.

"Snam informs that, following the accident at a stretch of the Austrian network managed by the operator Gas Connect, gas import flows from Russia have been temporarily interrupted. On the basis of the information currently available, supplies could resume today," the report said.