One person has died and at least 21 more have been injured following an explosion at a gas-processing plant at Baumgarten in Austria on Tuesday 12 December 2017. The incident happened at about 8.45 am local time, and triggered a fire which swept through the plant, which is operated by Austrian gas company Gas Connect, and caries natural gas supplied by Russia's Gazprom to Austria and countries to the south. The cause of the blast has not yet been established.
Column of fire over the Baumgarten Gas-hub following an explosion on 12 December 2017. Tomáš Hulik/Reuters.
The explosion has caused immediate concerns about gas supplies to southern Europe, with Italy declaring a state of emergency after retail gas prices rose 97% in twenty four hours, and supplies to Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are also threatened. The incident has effected even parts of Europe not directly supplied through the Baumgarten plant, with gas prices up 35% in the UK, Europe's largest consumer of natural gas, though this partly due to technical problems interrupting supplies from both the British and Norwegian North Sea Oilfields.
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