The explosion, which took place at Beamgarten near Vienna, killed one person and injured 18 others.
The site is a key distribution hub for gas imports, including from Russia, and a major energy supplier for a number of European countries.
A police spokesman confirmed: “There was an explosion around 8.45am and a fire. A wide area has been sealed off and there are expected to be several injured.”
Austria’s Gas Connect spokesman Armin Teichert said: “The installation has been brought under control and operations have been suspended there.”
Pipelines will probably be out of action for days, sparking panic over energy shortages.
Gas prices soared by 97 per cent in Italy to a record high of €47 (£41) per megawatt hour leading to industry minister Carlo Calenda calling for the state of emergency.
He said the disaster underlined the need to develop the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) which has been delayed by protests.
“If we had had the TAP, we would not have to declare a state of emergency,” he said.