Dagestani gas pipeline catches fire

Russia has temporarily stopped pumping gas to Azerbaijan because of an accident at the Dagestani trunk gas pipeline, a spokesperson for the Mezh-Region-Gas company told RIA Novosti today. (Dagestan is a republic in the South federal district) In his words, this accident won't impair gas deliveries to clients in Dagestan.

The Mozdok-Kazimagomed gas pipeline caught fire at 9.30 p.m. Moscow time above a deep mountain ravine 10 km from Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.

Talking to RIA Novosti, people at the dispatch-control service of the Caspii-Gazprom public company, which is a Gazprom subsidiary, noted that, according to preliminary expert checks, the accident was caused by external factors. The pipeline rupture measures 10 cm by 55 cm; and its edges are bent inside. This proves external influence, possibly even premeditated actions, a spokesperson for the Caspii-Gazprom company's dispatch-control service said.

Investigators will ascertain the causes of this incident, the dispatch-control service spokesman noted.

All repairs are to be completed already today, RIA Novosti's interlocutor at the regional gas company said in conclusion.