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    Baghjan Blaze: Over 8000 locals sheltered in 12 relief camps

    Women, particularly the pregnant ones, children and senior citizens have been facing untold miseries in the relief camps

    By Debananda Medak

    Guwahati: After the Oil India Limited’s Baghjan 5 gas well caught fire on Tuesday noon, the number of people affected and sheltered in relief camps has gone up more than eight thousand till Wednesday.    

    According to Oil authority, 1600 families comprising 3000 individuals were sheltered in four relief camps till Tuesday evening. However, 8 more relief camps were established on Wednesday. Hence, the PSU major had to establish 12 relief camps altogether to accommodate the victims.

    In its official statement, the Oil India Limited said, ‘‘Affected people in the surrounding areas are accommodated at 12 relief camps at a safer distance with the help of district administration and arrangement for food and other basic needs have been made.’’  

    A local resident of Baghjan told Time8, ‘‘More than 8000 victims have been sheltered in these relief camps so far. Women, particularly the pregnant ones, children and senior citizens have been facing untold miseries in the relief camps. Maintaining social distance, personal space for lactating mothers and hygiene and accessing of pure drinking water, have become a major concern.’’  

    The OIL’s statement mentioned that the blowout well located at the Oil’s Baghjan 5 gas well caught fire around 1:14 pm on May 9. Two assistant operators of the PSU major’s fire services – Durlav Gogoi and Tikheswar Gohain lost their lives during the fire.

    ‘‘Bodies of the employees, who were missing since yesterday, have been recovered this morning. Four persons – two from OIL, one from ONGC and one from contractor, sustained minor injury and have been given immediate medical help,’’ the statement said.  

    According to the statement, the fire tenders are spraying water to contain the fire from spreading in the surrounding areas. Hence, arrangement for additional water for fire control is in progress.

    ‘‘The Oil authority has constituted four teams – technical, arrangements and facilities, relief and rehabilitation and other issues for effective execution of measures in the current crisis situation. The team of experts from M/s Alert, Singapore, visited the well site this morning to assess the current situation and is currently preparing the roadmap for the next course of action,’’ the statement added. 

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