BBC Monitoring International Reports, March 15, 2003
Krasnodar — A rupture of the high-pressure Nevinnomyssk-Maykop gas pipeline accompanied by powerful inflammation was caused by metal ageing, Yuriy Bakanov, chief engineer of the Kubangazprom regional gas company told ITAR-TASS today. The gas pipeline rupture occurred not far from the Kuzhorskaya village where the pipeline crosses the Fars river on Friday 14 March , Bakanov said. The flame was 50-m high and a hectare of forest burnt out as a result. At present, the 24-km-long damaged sector of the pipeline is switched off and gas goes to customers via a recently built pipeline of the same diameter. The gas pipeline with the diameter of 700 mm was built 40 years ago. The gas company was planning to completely dismantle the old pipeline for safety reasons in the next few years. A maintenance team of Kubangazprom is currently working at the scene. Excavation and earth moving works started this morning.