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One missing, four injured in SW China gas well blowout


18:35, December 22, 2011

CHENGDU, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- 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.

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