The explosion sent flames shooting hundreds of feet into the sky and the blast was heard more than 40 kilometres away, this photograph taken from neighboring Slovakia.
Baumgarten is one of Europe’s main gas distribution hubs,handling 400 billion cubic meters of gas annually.
Fire crews were quickly on the scene.
When the first units arrived here in Baumgarten,there were already a huge shooting flames.
It became clear very quickly,this had to be a gas explosion.
Because of the enormous heat, six further buildings caught fire,they were completely aflame.
That’s why 250 firefighters were needed to bring this fire under control.
The Baumgarten gas hub is the main entry point for Russian gas into Austria and onward to Italy，Slovenia and Croatia.
More than 100 million cubic meters of gas every day is distributed through Baumgarten.
And it’s sudden closure has caused an immediate and significant price rise in wholesale gas prices with implications right across Europe.
The cause of the blast has been described simply as a technical fault, but the consequences for Europe’s gas consumers are significant and complex.
Italy has declared a state of emergency, more than 30% of its gas supplies come via Baumgarten and the timing could scarcely be worse.
If you were to describe a worst-case scenario for the European gas markets, today, this would be it.
We have this huge explosion at Baumgarten, which is, cut off all gas supply from Russia to Austria and Italy.
We have the closure of two very key fields in the UK North Sea because of a pipeline leak which is is really putting pressure on the UK gas system.
On top of that,in Norway,there’s an incident at the troll field, which is Europe’s biggest gas producing field.
And all of this, on top of the first real cold snap of this winter in Europe, so you couldn’t have actually described a more difficult time for all of this to have happened.
On the markets,the gas prices spiked sharply upwards.In Italy, more than double the price of the previous day.
Austrian authorities say the flames are now out and a damage assessment at Baumgarten will happen as soon as the site is safe.
They promised to resume supplies as soon as possible.
But that could take several weeks and in the meantime,Europe faces energy uncertainty.