Rupturing gas pipeline prompts farmers to flee

Rupturing gas pipeline prompts farmers to flee
September 5, 2009
HURFOM: On September 1st, because of an explosion along the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline, farmers in the area have been banned from working on their farms. Also to avoid Burmese government authorities, farmers hid themselves or fled to other villages.
“At about 4:30 [pm] the local [Burmese government] authorities arrived at the site of the explosion,” Describes Nai Nee (not real name), a 56 year old area farmer, who fled to Panga village. “All the farmers around the area have avoided [the cite] because they are worried the authorities will make problems for them. The explosion happened beside our farm. The authorities must collect money to make repairs to the gas pipeline and for the security guards. We don’t know yet how much we they will collect.”
According to area farmers, the gas pipeline ruptured at 2:20 am, with a loud explosion according to locals. The rupture has allowed large volumes of gas to escape but the jet has not ignited. The ruptured portion of the pipe is located east of the rail line and west of the motor road, in the Thanbyuzayat Township.
Explained a member of the New Mon State party at the Thanbyuzayat Liaison office, “In this pipe explosion it depended on the pipe quality. [I think] because of that the explosion occurred at the connection point of the two pipes. We heard that the authorities would collect about 50,000 [kyat] for the cost of making repairs and to build a fence beside the gas pipeline.” HURFOM has not been able to confirm that this is the exact amount of money area authorities will attempt to collect from households near the blast site.
This was the first time the Kanbauk to Myaing Kalay gas pipeline has exploded between Anin and Kyaung Yor villages. Previously the pipeline had only suffered minor leaks which were repaired. Authorities would also collect about 2,000 kyat per household every month to cover the cost of security around the pipeline.

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