A strong explosion occurred in the Caspian Sea on Sunday near the coast of Azerbaijan's capital Baku, with the state oil company saying it was caused by a volcanic eruption.
SOCAR said in a statement on Monday that a team has been carrying out an investigation, and the "blast was caused by a mud volcano, erupted naturally in Dashli Island, situated between Alat settlement and Neftchala city, about 30 km away from the shore."
The fire is about to extinguish, it said, adding that similar natural events have occurred in the same region before as well – mud volcanoes cause methane and other combustible gases to erupt in oil and gas fields.
No casualties have been so far.
Footage of the explosion, which could be seen with the naked eye from Baku, was shared on social media.
Ibrahim Ahmadov, a spokesperson at SOCAR, said no force majeure had occurred on marine platforms and industrial facilities under the direct control of the company, adding that operations continue as usual.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said it "did not register a single signal about incidents at the oil infrastructure or industrial facilities" in the country.
Earlier, an expert had said the explosion was related to a volcanic eruption. "There are signs of a mud volcano erupting," said Gurban Yetirmishli, head of the Republican Seismic Survey Center.
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