Russians were filmed walking towards a fiery explosion in the country’s Chuvashia Republic in a bizarre video after a major gas pipeline exploded on Tuesday.
The footage, shared by a local Telegram news channel, shows a huge blaze that erupted after an explosion hit the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod gas exporting pipeline, which leads from Russia through Ukraine.
The Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod gas exporting pipeline.
The structure, also known as the West-Siberian Pipeline, or Trans-Siberian Pipeline, is one of Russia’s main natural gas export pipelines, and is partially owned and operated by Ukraine.
“First there was the sound of an explosion. Noise can be heard even in neighboring areas,” the local Chuvashia Telegram channel wrote in a caption.
East European media outlet Nexta also published videos of the blaze on Twitter.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Chuvashia said the fire broke out after 2 p.m. local time on a section of the gas pipeline near the village of Yambakhtino as a result of a leak.
Local emergency services were cited by Russia’s state-run news agency Tass as saying that three people were killed and another was injured as a result of the blast.
According to the press service of the administration of the head of the republic, before the fire broke out, authorities had been working on the affected section of the pipeline.
The SHOT Telegram channel reported that a house in the village of Yambakhtino and a car parked nearby were damaged by the explosion.
An eyewitness told independent Russian-language news outlet Idel.Realii that children from a nearby school were evacuated.
“Thick blue-black smoke is visible from the school window,” school employees said.
Meanwhile, local residents said that the temperature of the area surrounding the fire is so high that people cannot approach their houses.
At least three people were seen in footage of the incident trudging slowly through snow toward the fire.
Several mysterious blazes have been reported in Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Explosions and fires have been occurring almost every day for the past few weeks in Russia, including in shopping centers and warehouses.
Two people were killed and four others were injured after a huge fire broke out at a unit at the Markovskoye oil and gas condensate field in Russia’s Irkutsk region in Siberia on Sunday.
And on December 9, a blaze, which spread over an area of about 18,000 square meters (194,000 square feet), broke out at about 6 a.m. local time in the Mega Khimki shopping and entertainment mall in a Moscow suburb.
There have been dozens of cases of military buildings and ammunition depots catching fire since the war began. Russia has blamed some of the incidents on Ukraine, although Kyiv has denied involvement.
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