4 workers dead, other five injured following explosion at gas pipeline on A7 highway construction site

Transgaz blames Umbr?rescu's company for the explosion in C?lim?ne?ti: It did not have approval for the relocation of the gas pipeline.


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A strong fire broke out, on Wednesday night, at a gas pipeline from Călimănești – Vrancea. As a result of the incident, four workers of the company working on the construction of the Moldova Highway died, and five others were injured.

Four people were found charred by the rescuers and five other people are injured, two of them with serious burns.

The two men with more serious burns, aged 61 and 53, had burns on 65 and 40% of their bodies respectively, were taken by helicopter and transferred to medical units in Bucharest, informed, on Thursday morning, the Vrancea County Ambulance Service (SAJ).

The victims were working on the construction of the A7 highway, also called Moldova Highway. The authorities in Vrancea activated, during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the Red Intervention Plan, after a fire engulfed a gas pipeline on the construction site.

From the first information, the cause of the incident would be human error. The gas line was hit by a machine.

The National Natural Gas Transport Company Transgaz SA said in a statement on Thursday, in connection with the explosion that occurred on Wednesday night in Călimănești, that the construction company carrying out the works on the A7 highway did not have a permit to relocate the gas pipeline that intersects with the route highways. The approval had to be issued by Transgaz.

According to this source, in the Transgaz notice issued in 2020, it is written that no work can be done closer than 20 meters without the completion of the works to protect or relocate the pipeline. Also, the Transgaz notice stipulates that in the pipeline’s protection zone, the works must be done with “greater care”.

“The constructor of the works did not comply with the provisions of the Site Notice no. 219/2197/04.01.2021 issued by SNTGN Transgaz SA for the work “Focșani – Bacău Motorway (including utility networks) located on the territory of Vrancea county”, this not having the CTE approval from SNTGN Transgaz SA for the technical project of relocation/replacement of the gas pipeline intersected by the project”, the Transgaz press release states.

Nicușor Halici, the prefect of Vrancea county, told Digi24 that “we will have to see if the designer has foreseen this pipeline in the project, its existence, its depth. It is said to have been at a depth of only 30 cm. Every risk that triggered this deflagration must be followed.”

Natural gas supply was not interrupted in Focşani, Adjud and Odobeşti.

Vrancea Inspectorate for Emergency Situations informed in a press release that the explosion at the gas main from Călimăneşti in Vrancea county was caused by the execution of works on the construction site of Autostrazii Moldovai A7.

“Following the investigations carried out, it was found that it was an explosion followed by a fire due to the cracking of the natural gas transport main and the appearance of mechanical sparks, as a result of the execution of works on the A7 highway construction site”, stated the spokesperson of ISU Vrancea, Florin Olaru.

The local press wrote that the workers who caused the fire on the A7 highway construction site on the night of Wednesday to Thursday would have hit a main gas pipeline with a digger, which would have led to the explosion, as a result of which four of them died , and five others were injured.

The people were employed at the company of the businessman Dorinel Umbrărescu and worked in the 3rd shift, in order to finish the works on the A7 faster.

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  1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

    Shame and pity for the Humans that earn they honest work. Industrial Accidents are always considered Criminal cases. The construction company should be brought in-front of a Judge and the site Supervisor should immediately be arrested.

    1. Mr Rearguard says

      Don’t forget you’re talking about Romania? They never admit to being responsible for anything that goes wrong!

      1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

        What are the Trade Unions doing? They should get organised. This society has to move ahead and stop clinging on to dark eras.

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