At least one person has died and 18 have been injured this Tuesday in an explosion at a gas station of Austrian Oil consortium OMV in town of Baumgarten, in eastern Austria, as reported by police sources. The Italian authorities have decreed state of emergency following suspension of gas supply from Austria's main gas terminal, which has been obliged to cancel its operations. This terminal, located to east of Vienna, is main center of supply and transfer of natural gas that arrives from Russia and is pumped to Germany and Italy, which is main receiver. The news of explosion has led to an increase in prices in European markets in face of fear of possible cuts and restrictions on supply in middle of winter.Learn More
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The explosion has occurred in an underground gas pipeline and has caused a fire in six buildings, according to Franz Resperger, spokesman for firefighters, to ORF state public television. "The explosion occurred at 8.45 this morning, and it's been followed by a fire." The situation is under control, but re are several casualties, said Edmund Tragschitz, a police spokesman.
Resperger has explained that in a few moments "enormous heat that has been developed has caused melting of several cars that were in car park" gas station. The police have recommended people through ir social networks to avoid area around Baumgarten, near Austrian border with Slovakia. Several fire brigade bodies, two emergency medical helicopters and ten ambulances have been moved to gas terminal.
The Baumgarten distribution centre, an infrastructure inaugurated in 1959, annually receives some 40 billion cubic meters of gas and redistributes it to or parts of Europe, including Germany and norrn Italy.