Oil Well Fire – level 3
Emergency workers in silver protective suits tried to extinguish flames at the Yarakta oilfield in rural Siberia for a week before a hose reportedly malfunctioned.
A Russian oil company asked the military to bombard the wellhead fire in an effort to put out the fire. However, approaching the wellhead to plant the explosives can be difficult, as temperatures can reach thousands of degrees Fahrenheit.
Oil well fires are often put out using high explosives that disrupt the supply of oxygen to the flames. The Soviet Union used underground nuclear tests to put out several gas and oil well fires in the 1960s and 1970s.
The wellhead fire is not the only recent industrial accident in Russia. Earlier this week, the Russian president ordered a state of emergency after 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into an Arctic river.
Difficult words: malfunction (to stop working normally), bombard (to hit with bombs or big weapons), wellhead (a man-made structure where a spring comes out of the ground), oil well (a deep hole which is made in order to get oil out of the ground).
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