GAS PIPELINE EXPLODES
(Based on IMNA report and Kao Wao: October 18, 2003)
A section of gas pipeline exploded on October 17, 2003, near
Kwan Hlar village of Mudon, Mon State in southern Burma.
The explosion which occurred in the midnight forced several
villagers to flee their homes due to extremely loud noise
and expansion of gas leak.
"It surprisingly exploded on the railway bridge west
to Kwan Hlar at night. The villagers from both Kwan Hlar and
Yang Dong run away from their homes to the east by feet and
trucks" said an eye witness from the village.
The sources reported officials from local Abit artillery
battalion of Burmese Army came to the site and inspected the
explosion but no information had publicly released.
Karen, Mon and other opposition groups are active in the
area, though the Mon made a ceasefire with junta in June 1995.
No group had claimed responsibility for the blow up this time
but the Karen National Union (KNU) occasionally attacked the
junta's gas pipeline project in the past.
According to the source, it was not the first time such incident
occurred. On February 17, 2003, eight months ago, a section
of the pipe line was exploded near Lamine village in Ye township
and on January 5, 2002, a gas pipeline near Chaktwe- Daymai
in Mudon township exploded at one of its junction. Another
section exploded on April 30, 2002 near Anin and Hntit-kayin
of Ye razing a railway bridge.
The source reported villagers living along the Kanbauk-Myaingkalay
gas pipeline also have to provide security as watch out and
forced to cover it with soil to protect from sabotage attack
by the armed groups.
"Since it has been built, the pipeline gave us many
troubles. Our lands are confiscated and it even took lives
because of the explosion in Ye township," said a villager
The Rangoon's Ministry of Construction built the pipeline
in 2001 in cooperation with the Burma Army Southeast Military
The 150 miles pipeline, which raises serious human rights
and environmental concerns, runs across Mon State from northern
Tenasserim Division to Karen State to supply a cement factory
in Pa-an, Karen State.