One dead in Austrian pipeline blast

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Most of the gas is coming from Russian Federation and Norway, which is then shipped to Germany, Italy, France, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary, and the gas for reversal supplies to Ukraine passes through it.

"An explosion occurred at 8:45 am (0745 GMT), followed by a fire". Gas Connect said the cause was likely to have been a technical fault.

At least one person died today and around 20 were injured due to an explosion at a gas plant in Baumgarten, Austria, which belongs to the OMV oil consortium, one of the largest processors and suppliers in Europe.

Gas Connect Austria said its deliveries to Austria's southern and southeastern borders were affected by the blast until further notice. A fire brigade spokesman said 18 people were injured, one of them seriously, while a police spokesman put the number of injured at 21. The market, all other gas net providers in the surrounding countries and of course the gas suppliers themselves were all informed.

Slovakia's main gas transit route to Austria was suspended after the fire, Slovak pipeline operator Eustream said.

Italy has announced a state of emergency yesterday because of stopping supplies, although it stressed that it is not threatened by an immediate energy crisis as there are enough gas reserves.

The Italian wholesale day-ahead price surged 97 percent to 47 euros per megawatt-hour, its highest recorded level.

"Austria's natural gas supply can be covered for the foreseeable future", the company said on its website.

One third of Russian gas exports to Europe run through Baumgarten an der March.

A UK National Grid spokesman said there was sufficient gas supply to meet demand amid multiple outages, underlining the breadth of concern about supply after the Baumgarten blast.

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