May 9, 2009 / 10:46 PM / 9 years ago

Moscow pipe blast sends flames 100 metres into air

MOSCOW, May 10 (Reuters) - A gas pipeline exploded in southwest Moscow early on Sunday, sending flames 100 metres into the air and setting buildings and cars ablaze.

"Some 35 firefighting teams have been sent to extinguish the fire. No casualties have been reported so far," said the spokesman for Moscow’s emergency services Yevgeny Bobylyov.

The flames on Bolshaya Ochakovskaya street were visible for many kilometres (miles). Russian agencies reported that they spread to two buildings and several cars.

Bobylyov said the cause was being investigated. Analysts say ageing pipeline are the most common reason for a rising number of such explosions.

The closest homes to the fire are more than 500 metres away, putting them out of its reach, an official told RIA news agency.

The explosion came hours after Moscow’s annual Victory Day celebrations, which included a massive fireworks display that sent many revellers onto the streets, including near the scene of the blast. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by Andrew Roche)

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