INTRODUCTION: Firefighters trying to control the blazing oil well at Karlino, 28 miles (45 kms) northwest of Warsaw, suffered a fresh setback last week.
GV Fire blazing with firemen looking on gaugeing its extent
GV Firemen and rescue workers standing round with equipment
SV & GV Firemen and rescuers in protective clothing walking across terrain lit by fire
GV PAN TO Terrain where fire is THEN PAN AGAIN TO litter of hosepipes and PAN TO buildings near fire
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Firefighters trying to control the blazing oil well at Karlino, 28 miles (45 kms) northwest of Warsaw, suffered a fresh setback last week. Estimates of the size of the potential fire have varied wildly since it began on December 9th, but unexpectedly high gas pressure has forced expert to revise their calculations yet again.
SYNOPSIS: At one time the well was spewing out 31,000 barrels of blazing oil worth two million dollars a day. At that rate Poland stood to lose the equivalent of more than a third of its normal oil production. Some experts believe it could take six months to put the fire out. It began when an exploratory drill ignited an oil deposit, triggering off the biggest such explosion in Europe, according to Polish officials.
Estimates of the amount of oil in the field have varied between potential yields of seven thousand and seventy thousand barrels a day.
More than 400 people are involved in the operation. Several ingenious ideas for putting it out have been attempted. Soviet experts tried to build an umbrella of water to let firefighters get closer to it. Police soldiers shelled wreckage near the blaze for the same reason.