June 19, 2018 / 6:01 AM / in 9 months

Japan's Osaka Gas moves forward plan for restoring piped gas supplies

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Osaka Gas Co said on Tuesday it would bring forward its schedule for restoring normal piped gas supplies to customers hit by an unplanned disruption following a magnitude 6.1 earthquake a day earlier.

The quake in Osaka, Japan’s second-biggest metropolis, killed four people, injured hundreds more and halted factory lines in an industrial area, government and company officials said on Tuesday.

Osaka Gas would try to resume normal supplies to affected customers by June 25, ahead of its previous schedule of between June 26 and 30, the company said in a statement.

The move comes after Osaka Gas and other firms in the industry nearly tripled the number of staff tackling the restoration effort to about 2,900 from an original plan of 1,000.

Piped gas supplies were cut off to about 112,000 Osaka Gas customers in Takatsuki, Ibaraki and two other cities in Osaka prefecture, for safety checks following the quake, the trade ministry said.

Osaka Gas said there had been no impact on its core facilities for supplying piped gas, sometimes called ‘city gas’.

(This version of the story has been refiled to correct target for restoration in the third paragraph to June 25 from May 25.)

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; editing by Richard Pullin

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