WATCH: Australian river erupts into flames
Saturday, April 23, 2016, 1:12 PM - Rivers aren't supposed to go up in flames when you set a match to them.
Unfortunately, the Condamine River in the Australian state of Queensland is apparently prone to ignition, as demonstrated by¬†Jeremy Buckingham, an Australian Green MP. Its flammable nature is due to methane infused within it, and Buckingham says he was "shocked" by the force of the explosion.
The MP blames nearby coal seam gas operations for the release of methane into the environment.
"There has been concern that fracking and extraction of coal seam gas could cause gas to migrate through the rock," Buckingham wrote on Facebook when he uploaded the video. "Not only is it polluting the river and air, but methane is an extremely potent heat trapping gas. Fugitive emissions from the unconventional gas industry could be a major contributor to climate change and make gas as dirty as burning coal."
A RIVER ON FIRE! Gas explodes from Australian river near fracking site. I was shocked by force of the explosion... https://t.co/uRxFKOsk57— Jeremy Buckingham (@greensjeremy) April 22, 2016
Origin Energy, which ABC says manages the nearby coal seam gas wells, says it's been monitoring the release of methane into the area, and said it was aware of the video. A company statement, quoted by ABC, said such seeps are not a risk to public safety or the environment, provided "people show common sense and act responsibly around them."
"Ongoing research has identified several scenarios that could be contributing to the seeps including the natural geology and faults (formed tens-of-millions of years ago), natural events such as drought and flood cycles as well as some human activity, which includes water bores and coal seam gas operations," the company says.