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    A column of fire is seen after an explosion ripped through Austria's main gas pipeline hub in Baumgarten, Austria December 12, 2017 in this picture obtained from social media

    Gas Deliveries From Austria's Baumgarten Hub to Resume in Next Few Hours

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    Deliveries of natural gas from the hub in Austria's Baumgarten to the EU countries will be restored within the next few hours, Gas Connect pipeline operator said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An explosion occurred early on Tuesday at the OMV natural gas station in the Austrian city of Baumgarten.

    "After thorough work of a fire brigade and the regional police, the transit of gas through the Trans Austria pipeline to Italy, and the West Austria to Germany… and to Hungary will be restored in the next few hours," Gas Connect pipeline operator said in a statement, adding that the exact cause of the accident was unclear.

    Lower Austria police chief Markus Haindl said that eighteen people were injured and one was killed by the explosion, adding that there was "no indication of terrorism." It is assumed that the blast was caused by a technical malfunction, Gas Connect operator said.

    Austria's gas regulator E-Control said the blast had derailed gas supplies to Italy, Hungary and Slovenia, with Italy introducing a state of emergency due to the suspension of Russian gas supplies after the explosion.       

    OMV's spokesperson has said the company [largest in central Europe] is seeking to find out which parts of the plat have been affected and added that a criminal investigation has begun, according to noe.orf.at.    

    Central European Gas Hub, located in the Austrian town of Baumgarten on the border with Slovakia, is an international trading platform for gas and one of the three largest gas distribution centers in Europe. About one-third of all Russian supplies to Western Europe are pumped through the Baumgarten gas hub, which takes in approximately 40 billion cubic meters of gas every year.    

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