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22 September 2017
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Negligence cause of Europe-bound pipe blast -Ukraine prosecutor

A blast damaged a Russian gas pipeline bound for Europe

Ukraine`s top prosecutor said Tuesday a blast that damaged a Russian gas pipeline bound for Europe Monday was caused by negligence rather than terrorism, according to RIA Novosti.

The blast and ensuing fire that hit the pipeline Monday evening raised speculation that it could have been a terrorist attack aimed at disrupting the situation in the country, which is already locked in a political crisis.

"This was no terrorist attack ... but negligence by some officials," Svyatoslav Piskun said following a conference on the issue in Kiev, adding that the preliminary investigation had cited loss of pressure in the pipeline and sinking ground as the technical reasons.

Russian energy giant Gazprom, which controls the pipeline, said Monday supplies to Europe had been unaffected and rerouted through a bypass pipeline.

Ukraine`s national oil and gas company, Naftogaz, said Tuesday deliveries to domestic clients would be resumed in full by May 9 marked as Victory Day in former Soviet republics. "Repair teams are working round-the-clock at the site to restart gas supplies to consumers by the holiday," the press service said.

The European Commission is assessing the consequences of the blast for Europe. Ferran Tarradellas, spokesman for the European commissioner for energy, said European customers had not complained about any disruptions and quoted the Ukrainian side`s assurances that supplies would continue as scheduled.

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