An explosion damaged a gas pipeline in northern Lithuania on Friday with no injuries reported, the operator said, adding that the blast was not thought to be suspicious. The explosion on the pipeline which links the Baltic states to Poland happened at around 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) near the town of Pasvalys, threatening the village of Valakeliai, which was temporarily evacuated. “According to initial data, no people were injured,” operator Amber Grid said in a statement. “The explosion took place away from residential buildings.” Firefighters were on the scene. “There were flames 50 metres high, but the blaze is now dying down,” a firefighter told AFP. The system at the site had two parallel pipelines, and although the supply to one had been interrupted, the other was operating normally and local consumers were still being supplied, according to the statement. Amber Grid’s chief executive Nemunas Biknius said an investigation had already been launched but that the incident was not being viewed as suspicious. The company said the pipeline that caught fire was used to supply gas to northern Lithuania and transport it to neighbouring Latvia. Natural gas supplies to Latvia remained unaffected for the time being, according to Latvian Energy Minister Raimonds Cudars quoted by the Baltic News Service. Biknius said Amber Grid had “immediately begun investigating the circumstances of the incident and (was) ensuring the supply of gas to consumers”. “For the time being, we have not seen any malicious action” linked to the explosion, but “the investigation will look at all possible scenarios”, he told reporters. Since June 2022, Lithuania has banned the import of gas from Russia in a bid to reduce its energy dependence on its neighbour in the context of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. After Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, it was heavily dependent on Russian gas until it inaugurated a liquefied natural gas terminal at Klaipeda, on the Baltic Sea. Then, in 2022, it launched a pipeline linking the three Baltic states to the European gas network, via Poland. Friday’s blast happened as Lithuania marked the anniversary of the day in 1991 when Soviet troops crossed the border in a failed bid to reoccupy it after the country had declared independence.