- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

CHISINAU, MOLDOVA (AP) - A gas official says that a fire in a pipeline carrying Russian gas to the Balkans has been extinguished.

Aleksandr Gusev, head of Moldova-Gaz, says Thursday that repair work to the ruptured pipeline will take three days.

Piotr Stepanov, an official in the separatist Trans-Dniester region, says that 110 feet (30 meters) of pipeline needs be replaced.

A blast Wednesday was heard six miles (10 kilometers) away and flames leapt 165 feet (50 meters) high. Nobody was hurt. The fire was extinguished late that day.

Trans-Dniester officials said that the blast had been caused by a landslide after days of heavy rain in the hilly region, which is controlled by separatists.

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