July 29, 2010 / 6:45 AM / 8 years ago

North China gas well fire burning for nearly week: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - A natural gas well operated by Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group has been burning for nearly a week since drilling in the well caused gas to leak out and explode, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

No casualties have been reported. Villagers near the well were evacuated shortly after the accident, Xinhua cited a local county official as saying.

The accident took place late in the night on July 23 as workers drilled a gas well 2,750 meters under the ground in Yanchang County, said the official.

Some villagers were already in bed when they heard loudspeakers ordering them to flee immediately, and witnesses described flames shooting 20 meters high, it said.

Yanchang Petroleum Group, backed by north China’s Shaanxi provincial government, is China’s fourth-largest oil producer.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Ken Wills

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