Source AP ©

Negligence caused explosion of Ukrainian gas pipeline

The top prosecutor of Ukraine said that the reason of the explosion of natural gas pipeline, supplying Russian gas to Europe, was negligence.

The blast on Monday destroyed about 30 meters (100 feet) of the Urenhoi-Pomary-Uzhhorod line south of Kiev. Nobody was injured.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun said that land subsidence led to a break in the pipeline. He said officials should have been able to spot the natural changes occurring and taken action to build up the soil around the pipeline.

Piskun said that a similar blast occurred in 2003 at the same location. Prosecutors launched an investigation and have already identified officials responsible for the damaged stretch of the pipeline, he said.

The pipeline, which pumps gas from Russia onto European consumers, is one of the main trunk lines that crisscross this ex-Soviet republic. Ukraine is one of the main transit points for Russian gas headed onto the European Union.

On Monday, state-owned transit company Ukrtransgaz said European consumers would not be affected by the disabled line. The company said gas would be pumped through other pipelines in its vast network and taken out of underground storage units.

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