In Austria an explosion at a gas station

In Austria an explosion at a gas station

As traders scrambled to secure supplies and wholesale gas prices hit highs not seen since 2013, familiar questions about security of supply re-emerged. It has also disrupted deliveries to Austria's southern and southeastern borders.

"There is severe damage at the station", Gas Connect Austria's Armin Teichert said. Italy has announced a state of emergency yesterday because of stopping supplies, although it stressed that it is not threatened by an immediate energy crisis as there are enough gas reserves. Two air ambulances were sent to the facility in Baumgarten, the Austria Press Agency reported.

The Baumgarten site in eastern Austria, near Slovakia, is a major regional transfer node, taking natural gas from as far away as Russian Federation and pumping it towards neighbours including Germany and Italy, Baumgarten's biggest recipient.

The explosion has occurred in an underground gas pipeline and has caused a fire in six buildings, according to Franz Resperger, spokesman for firefighters, to ORF state public television. "We might well see some competition between Europe and Asia to attract LNG (liquid natural gas, delivered by ship) this winter".

Austria's gas regulator E-Control has reportedly said the blast has derailed gas supplies to Italy, Hungary and Slovenia.

Russia's Gazprom Export has commented on the incident, saying that it was working to ensure stable supplies of gas to its clients after the explosion at the gas hub in the Austrian town.

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