By William Helms

An ongoing fire in India exploded on July 22, 2020, injuring three people. Over the last two months, Oil India Limited (OIL) has suspended operations at well number 5 of the Baghjan oil field, located in the Tinsukia district of Assam, India. Problems originally started on May 27, a blowout occurred, allowing gas to spew uncontrollably from the well. Fueled by the gas, a large fire broke out on June 9, killing two fire fighters. Over a month later, efforts were being made to finally cap the well to bring the blaze to an end. However, this was unsuccessful as it resulted in a massive blast which injured three foreign experts working on the project. Fortunately, their burns were relatively minor according to OIL.

The image above shows the progression of the fire. The left side shows the night after the well blow out on May 28, when it was still relatively contained. The right side reveals June 9, when a giant eruption turned the fire into a widespread catastrophe. Both display data from Nighttime Lights overlaid on Google Earth, allowing for an excellent vantage point to see the far-reaching disaster.