The fire, which resulted in 300 feet high flames visible from 30 kilometres away and which will take at least one month to extinguish took place in the Tengratila gas field in eastern Chhatak.
As a result of the fire, the soil of the area has cracked. Operators of Niko ran into trouble as a result of a sudden gas pressure surge that was noticed on Friday at 7.30 pm. To avert what they considered could be an impending disaster, they tried to reduce the gas pressure by diverting it 500 meters away by using a pipeline and burning it off. The operators claimed to the press on Friday night that the "major threat is over".
The gas-field fire in Sunamganj in Bangladesh which caused 10,000 people to leave their homes and resulted in the destruction of 40 houses was the result of failures on the part of the Canadian oil company Niko, alleged a Petrobangla expert after visiting the site yesterday. He alleged that it was the result of 'inadequate monitoring' of exploration activities and of drilling too deep into the gas field without adequate structures. "This was a repeat of the 1999 Magurchhara explosion', he said.