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Thousands evacuated and two firefighters killed in India gas field blaze

Flames could be seen leaping nearly 50 feet into the air.

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National Disaster Response Force personnel at the site of the blaze (Partha Sarathi Das/AP)

National Disaster Response Force personnel at the site of the blaze (Partha Sarathi Das/AP)

National Disaster Response Force personnel at the site of the blaze (Partha Sarathi Das/AP)

A raging fire at a natural gas field in a remote part of north-eastern India has killed two firefighters and forced nearly 8,000 people to leave their homes, an official said.

Workers have been trying to cap the well since gas started leaking nearly two weeks ago, said Tridiv Hazarika, a spokesman for government-owned Oil India, which operates the gas field in Baghjan.

The well caught fire with explosions on Tuesday, when the two firefighters went missing. Their bodies were recovered on Wednesday.

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The site of the fire in India (Partha Sarathi Das/AP)

The site of the fire in India (Partha Sarathi Das/AP)

AP/PA Images

The site of the fire in India (Partha Sarathi Das/AP)

Flames could be seen leaping nearly 50 feet into the air more than 36 hours after the inferno began.

“We started evacuating people in the vicinity of the well from May 28 onwards and have flown in experts from the Singapore-based company Alert Disaster Control,” Mr Hazarika said.

PA