Company officials said around 7,000 people living nearby have now been evacuated, after some 2,500 local residents were originally ordered out
Around 7,000 people have been evacuated from the surrounds of a deadly oil-well explosion in northeast India, authorities said Thursday, as environmentalists warned local wildlife was being hit by contamination.
Oil India engineers have been battling since May 27 to cap a blowout that this week ignited a huge ball of fire in Tinsukia district of Assam state.
Company officials said around 7,000 people living nearby have now been evacuated, after some 2,500 local residents were originally ordered out.
On Thursday the fire was still raging, and jet-black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky from kilometres away.
The Baghjan oil field is adjacent to the Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the Maguri-Motapung wetlands that are home to several endangered species including tigers, dolphins and elephants.
Two firefighters have been killed battling the blaze, including local hero Durlov Gogoi, who had represented Assam state at junior football.
Oil India warned on Wednesday it could take a month to cap the leak.
The Press Trust of India said officials had called in experts from Singapore, the United States and Canada to help tackle the fire.