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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blast Rips Section of Ukraine Gas Pipeline

KIEV -- An explosion hit a Ukrainian natural gas pipeline that supplies gas to Europe on Monday, destroying a section of it but causing no injuries, officials said.

The blast hit the Urenhoi-Pomary-Uzhhorod line south of Kiev mid-afternoon, said Ihor Krol, spokesman for the country's Emergency Situations Ministry. A stretch of about 30 meters of the pipeline was destroyed.

Gas flows to Europe through Ukraine have been rerouted through a bypass pipeline after an explosion on the main line normally used, the Emergencies Ministry said.

"Gas supplies are flowing through a bypass line. A rerouting scheme has been put into effect," ministry spokesman Ihor Krol said by telephone.

State-owned transit company Ukrtransgaz said European consumers would not be affected.

"Ukraine will fully meet its obligations to transit natural gas to Europe," the company said in a statement.

Gazprom, which controls the export of all Russian gas, also said there were no disruptions in supplies to Europe.

Experts were at the site, trying to determine the cause of the explosion, Krol said. He did not know when gas supplies through the damaged line would be restarted.

The pipeline, which pumps gas from Russia to European consumers, is one of three main trunk lines that crisscross Ukraine. The country is one of the main transit points for Russian gas headed on to Europe. (AP, Reuters)