A deadly explosion has caused Italy to declare a state of emergency because they have a lack of gas supplies.
The explosion actually took place in Baumgarten in Austria in a main gas pipeline hub, and a huge fire ripped through the area.
One person was killed and a further 18 injured in the blast, which occurred earlier today, according to The Guardian.
A police spokesman said:
There was an explosion around 8.45am (7.45 GMT) and a fire. A wide area has been sealed off and there are expected to be several injured.
Italy’s state of emergency has been declared because they don’t have enough supplies to deal with the cut-off gas after the blast.
— Russian Market (@russian_market) December 12, 2017
The price of gas has rocketed in the region and the rest of Europe, and in Britain gas for immediate delivery rose a staggering 35 per cent to 92 pence per therm – the highest level in four years.
Officials in the area from Gas Connect Austria have said the blaze is now under control, and police have said the cause was technical in origin, rather than man-made.
Images on social media display incredibly high pillars of flames rising from the site situated 31 miles from Austria’s capital Vienna.
An explosion followed by a fire took place at #Austria's Main Gas Pipeline Hub at #Baumgarten east of #Vienna on Tuesday, leaving 1 person reportedly dead, 18 injured. #Austria https://t.co/zf8TqR0alO … pic.twitter.com/KECpXptAU5
— Alexander Hansen (@AlexanderXV) December 12, 2017
The blast was so strong and the fire so intense that cars in the immediate area began to melt from the heat.
On a wider scale, the hub is vital to the transition of European gas with natural gas transported to Baumgarten through Slovakia and Germany using a number of pipelines.
From that point the gas is distributed throughout Europe via the Austrian transmission network.
Deliveries to many countries in the region will be affected until further notice, according to Gas Connect Austria.
Gazprom Export says it is working on redistribution of gas flows to secure uninterrupted gas supplies, following #Baumgarten gas explosion
— Jaime Concha (@jaimeconcha) December 12, 2017
Italy’s industry ministers said the country must battle with a massive energy supply problem.
It has affected gas supplies to Slovakia and Russia, and major gas suppliers are trying to redirect flows to ensure undisrupted supplies of the fuel.
Gas prices have surged as a result, and in Italy the price has hiked 97 per cent to a record high of €47 per megawatt-hour.