Kiev, February 19: Amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a "powerful explosion" hit Luhansk, Sputnik reported. The blast was said to occur at gas pipeline "Druzhba" and lead to a massive fire.

Local gas infrastructure managing "Lyhanskgas" said in a statement that emergency crews are now present on the site, reported Sputnik. Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Quiet, Constructive Diplomacy Need of Hour, Says India at UNSC Meeting, Russia Welcomes Stand.

"At 00:10 on 19 February, calls began to arrive about a major fire on the gas pipeline near Malaya Vergunka, emergency teams of the State Unitary Enterprise 'Luganskgaz' went to the scene," "Luganskgaz" told reporters.

The situation on the line of contact in Donbass, Ukraine escalated on Thursday morning following reports by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics of active shelling carried out by Ukrainian armed forces, reported Sputnik.

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