A new explosion and inferno has hit a strategic Russian oil and gas field amid suspicions key facilities are being targeted in sabotage attacks linked to Vladimir Putin‘s war in Ukraine.
Armageddon-like flames shot into the sky from the giant blaze at the Markovskoye condensate treatment unit in the biting minus 22C cold.
Dramatic footage shows the scene from hell caused by the ‘jet fire’ in the east Siberian district of Ust-Kut, Irkutsk region.
At least seven people suffered injuries in the blast at Angarsk which was in the same region as a blast three days earlier that was compared to an earthquake or plane crash for its force.
A breathless worker at the Ust-Kut is heard on a video saying: ‘Vanya we are f*****, the plant exploded.
‘They told us to evacuate.
‘And as we started fleeing, it exploded.’
The Russian authorities rushed out a statement to declare that the blaze was under control, even though it was clearly still burning in the remote region.
Governor Igor Kobzev failed to mention the explosion heard by witnesses and claimed: ‘The fire was extinguished at the complex natural gas treatment plant at the Markovskoye field.
‘There is no threat to residents.’
He posted on Telegram: ‘According to the Emergencies Ministry, there were no deaths.
‘Seven people were injured.
‘Two people in serious condition were taken by air ambulance helicopter to Bratsk.
‘Four in moderate condition were taken to the Ust-Kut town hospital.’
Apart from burns, one of the injuries suffered frostbite.
He admitted 155 firefighters were deployed seeking to control an inferno some estimates said had spread to 10,700 square feet.
The plant is privately owned by Irkutsk Oil Company and is a key player in the Siberian economy.
It is one of Russia’s largest private oil companies.
Putin has recruited tens of thousands of his fighters from Siberia, and the Irkutsk region has suffered a high mortality rate.
The facility produces crude oil as well as condensate and natural gas.
It is co-owned by Russian billionaire Nikolay Buinov, 55.
The explosion and initial fire started soon after 11pm local time on Sunday.
Officials say the blaze will not spread.
A probe is underway into the cause of the latest explosion and fire.
Investigators are still examining the earlier massive fire at Angarsk Oil Refinery on Thursday.
Recently there have been explosions and fires at shopping malls as well as energy facilities, raising fears of sabotage against Putin’s unpopular war in Ukraine, which has seen more than 100,000 Russian killed or maimed.
Two such infernos have ravaged major malls in Moscow this month.