Ukraine suspects terrorism in explosion on pipeline carrying Russian gas to Europe

An explosion has hit a pipeline carrying Russian natural gas across Ukraine to Europe, and the Ukrainian interior minister says they suspect it may have been a "terrorist act."

Tuesday's blast, which occurred far from where government troops are fighting pro-Russia separatists, came a day after Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in a dispute over price and overdue payments.

Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz said gas flow to Europe was maintained by using a parallel pipeline.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement that investigators were considering several theories, "including the main theory of a terrorist act."

He said local residents heard two loud claps before the explosion, which occurred in the Poltava region about 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of Kiev, the capital. No injuries were reported.