Elite Russian army troops are engaged to shoot down a burning oil well – with a massive anti-tank gun.
Shocking images show huge flames that cause great toxic pollution in remote Siberia.
The 50ft inferno has been out of control for seven days with local firefighters who cannot put it out.
Now Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered the deployment of a Soviet smooth 100mm anti-tank gun to blow away the wellhead construction.
The weapon is flown 2,700 miles from the Samara region to Irkutsk on an Il-76 military transport aircraft.
“A shot from the gun is intended to destroy the fountain fitting of the burning well, which will help install blow-out control equipment to seal the well,” said a military statement.
The uninhabited area is so remote that it is unlikely that the military will reach the Irkutsk Oil Company (INK) facility and deploy its large cannon before Monday.
The fire broke out in the Yarakta oil field after an oil and gas emergency was sprayed into a junction box by a pressure drop on May 30.
On-site workers from oil companies, along with Ugraprombezopasnost personnel, who provide industrial safety in hazardous situations, fought the fire.
But they couldn’t put the inferno out, reports say.
“For a successful and rapid closure of the well, it was decided to deploy military artillery forces to shoot down the fountain reinforcement,” said INK.
Work is in progress on the scene of the incident.
“They’re expected in a day or two.”
It is understood that no casualties were caused by the fire.
And while the fumes flow over the pristine wilderness in the Irkutsk region, the nearest village is about 70 miles away.
The incident is about 650 miles east of the city of Irkutsk in central Siberia.