Firefighters try to extinguish fire at Qionglai-1 gas well of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in southwest China's Sichuan Province, today. [Photo: Shanghaidaily.com]
One person is missing and four others are hospitalized after a gas well exploded in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Thursday morning, the local fire department said.
The accident occurred at a gas well owned by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in Dayi county in the city of Chengdu, the provincial capital, around 3:30 a.m. during a drilling operation, according to firefighters.
The fire was under control as of 9:40 a.m. after the efforts of more than 100 firefighters.
CNPC, one of the nation's leading onshore oil producers, has sent a team of experts to investigate the cause of the accident, said a spokesman for the company.
Company sources said that the gas released did not contain hydrogen sulfide, which is a type of toxin and an inflammable gas.
Local residents that had been evacuated have begun to return home, and a search for the missing individual is under way, the spokesman said.