A massive fire caused by a gas pipeline leak struck a Moscow suburb during the night, obliterating 17 buildings. Firemen only managed to bring the raging inferno under control three hours after it broke out.
Both gas and electricity were temporarily cut off from the Northeastern Moscow suburb of Sholkovskaya near the village of Almazovo after a gas pipe caught fire, reports RIA Novosti.
The flames of the ensuing inferno reached 10 meters in height and covered an area of approximately 600 square meters.
The fire caused significant damage to the surrounding area, destroying 17 country houses. Authorities said that no one was injured in the blaze.
The fire started at 4.50am Moscow time (00.50 GMT) and was triggered when a short-circuiting wire ignited a gas leak, according to preliminary reports.
“I was at the scene of the fire and saw how everything happened,” said on-call official Vladimir Khrulenko. “We were worried about a reduction in the gas supply as the boilers were going to be turned off.” He added that boilers were now running off reserve stores.
In July of this year a similar pipeline explosion in Sochi triggered a massive blaze that reached up to 30 meters in height. No one was injured in the fire and the city’s electricity supply did not experience any problems.