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16 years after the second phase of the Tengratila gas field fire in Sunamganj: They still haunt people

Dulal Mia, Sunamganj: Today marks the 16th anniversary of the second phase of the Tengratila gas field fire in Doara Bazar upazila of Sunamganj district. On 24 June 2005, a second fire broke out at the Tengratila gas field in Doarabazar upazila. Earlier, the first fire broke out on January 7 of the same year. Since then, the people of Tengratila have remembered January 7 and June 24 every year. Memories of the horrors of a horrific day are still haunting everyone in Tengratila. Note that after the first fire on January 7, 2005, a stream of gas began to scatter around.

Gas pressure continues to rise. In order to reduce the flow and pressure of the gas, a second relief well was dug 100 meters west of the site of the first explosion. From the night of June 1, the US Pakar Group started digging this well. At this time 7outlets were set up around the relief well. The families around the gas field were relocated to a safe distance due to new security reasons. During the excavation, a second fire broke out in the relief well on Friday night, June 24. This time the purpose for which the excavation was conducted was completely ruined.

The pressure of the gas goes out of control. In a short time, 5 of those outlets were closed in sand and mud. Gas starts to come out at high speed around the main rig. There are allegations that the excavation officials were negligent and there were design flaws. As gas pressure rises, Canadian gas extractor Niko fails to control it. Then came the fire. It is learned that this time the fire was set on purpose due to security reasons. In the second phase of the fire, the fire fluctuated between 200-250 feet. Meanwhile, the gas leak at the Tengratila gasfield did not stop even 16 years after the accident.

The locals could not recover from the damage caused to the environment and people by the two fires. On the other hand, the gas field has been in a state of undeclared abandonment for more than a decade and a half and important machinery and goods are being destroyed. Abdul Halim Birpratik, a resident of Tangratila gas field, said that the horrific memory of the gasfield tragedy still haunts us. We believe there are still many gas reserves here. He is hopeful that the gas field will be reopened after all the legal procedures are completed.

Abdul Awal, vice-president of the central committee of the Jatiya Krishak Party, a resident of Shantipur village, said, “We still think that the gas field is erupting in the vicinity of the gas field. We have an idea of natural gas reserves here.” If the gas field is quickly re-excavated and commissioned, it will be possible to meet the demand for gas.

Doarbazar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Debangshu Kumar Singh said there were no new instructions regarding the gas field. However, on June 23, a team of three professors and eight students from the Department of Geology, Dhaka University, visited the Tengratila gas field and inspected it on the spot.

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