Lithuania gas explosion blamed on technical malfunction

Jan 14, 2023, 3:22 AM | Updated: 10:00 am
Employees work at the site of the damaged pipeline near Valakeliai village, outside Pasvalys, 175 k...

Employees work at the site of the damaged pipeline near Valakeliai village, outside Pasvalys, 175 km (109 miles) north of Vilnius in northern Lithuania on Saturday Jan. 14, 2023. A powerful gas pipeline explosion that prompted the evacuation of a village in northern Lithuania was most likely caused by a technical malfunction, the head of the country's natural gas transmission system said Saturday. The blast Friday evening sent flames 50 meters (about 150 feet) into the sky. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

VALAKELIAI, Lithuania (AP) — A powerful gas pipeline explosion that prompted the evacuation of a village in northern Lithuania was most likely caused by a technical malfunction, the head of the country’s natural gas transmission system said Saturday.

The blast Friday evening sent flames 50 meters (about 150 feet) into the sky. No casualties were reported but about 250 people were evacuated from the nearby village of Valakeliai as a precaution. The fire was extinguished by midnight and the residents returned to their homes on Saturday as repair work began on the damaged pipeline.

“One of the (possible causes) is that the explosion was a result of the defects in the welding seam of the pipeline, but the investigation will provide all answers within several days,” said Nemunas Biknius, the head of AB Amber Grid, which operates Lithuania’s natural gas transmission system. “I don’t think it’s some kind of intentional activity; I think it’s an accident.”

The pipeline carries gas from Lithuania’s Baltic port of Klaipeda to neighboring Latvia. An adjacent pipeline was not damaged and continued to supply gas to consumers in the area, AB Amber Grid said.

“The residents are safe now, there is no danger to their health,” Povilas Balciunas, a municipal government official, told the AP. “Gas supply is also restored. The asphalt on the road has melted, but nobody suffered, and this is the main thing.”

Lithuania completely cut off Russian gas imports in April 2022 in response to the invasion of Ukraine. The Baltic country imports gas from multiple countries through the Klaipeda Liquid Natural Gas terminal built a decade ago. The terminal satisfies all Lithuania’s natural gas needs and allows deliveries to neighboring countries.

___ Associated Press writer Liudas Dapkus in Vilnius, Lithuania, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this April 4, 2017, file photo, fountains erupt along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. A...
Associated Press

Lawsuit: Vegas Strip resorts used vendor to fix hotel rates

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal lawsuit in Nevada is seeking class-action damages for countless hotel patrons who booked rooms in Las Vegas since 2019, alleging that most hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have used a third-party vendor to illegally fix prices. The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleges […]
19 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that between 2017 and 2019, the overall […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Jury: $1M to Oregon woman told ‘I don’t serve Black people’

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded an Oregon woman $1 million in damages after finding she was discriminated against by a gas station employee who told her, “I don’t serve Black people.” The Multnomah County jury’s award this week to Portland resident Rose Wakefield, 63, included punitive damages of $550,000. Wakefield’s lawyer, Gregory […]
19 hours ago
FILE - The state of Texas execution chamber in Huntsville, Texas, is pictured on May 27, 2008. A gr...
Associated Press

Texas death row inmates sue over solitary confinement

HOUSTON (AP) — A group of death row inmates filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the Texas prison system over its policy of mandatory and indefinite solitary confinement for all prisoners who are awaiting execution, saying it causes severe physical and psychological harm. The suit alleges that the policy severely restricts their access to human […]
19 hours ago
FILE - The Hasbro logo is seen on April 26, 2018, in New York. Toymaker Hasbro said Thursday, Jan. ...
Associated Press

Toymaker Hasbro laying off 1,000 to cut costs

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Toymaker Hasbro said Thursday it is cutting about 1,000 jobs as part of moves announced last year to save up to $300 million annually by 2025. The nearly century-old Rhode Island-based company behind Monopoly, Play-Doh and My Little Pony toys said the layoffs amount to 15% of its global full-time workforce. […]
19 hours ago
Syringes with vaccines are prepared at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health P...
Associated Press

FDA’s advisers back plan to simplify COVID-19 vaccinations

The U.S. is poised to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot, a major shift in strategy despite a long list of questions about how to best protect against a still rapidly mutating virus. The Food and Drug Administration asked its scientific advisers Thursday to help lay the groundwork for switching to once-a-year […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Lithuania gas explosion blamed on technical malfunction