Indonesia, killing at least 17 people, injuring dozens more, and forcing thousands of nearby residents to leave after it spread to their neighborhood. Jakarta, Indonesia — Officials said a large fire broke out at a fuel storage depot in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least 17 people, injuring dozens more, and forcing thousands of nearby residents to leave after it spread to their neighborhood.
The state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina runs the Plumpang fuel storage station in the Tanah Merah neighborhood of North Jakarta, which is close to a densely populated area. 25% of Indonesia’s fuel requirements come from it.
According to fire officials, at least 260 firefighters and 52 fire engines were struggling to contain the blaze in the nearby neighborhood.
Television footage of the fire showed hundreds of residents fleeing in fear, while firefighters battled the blaze amid thick clouds of black smoke and orange flames.
According to Eko Kristiawan, the area manager for Pertamina, a preliminary investigation revealed that the fire started when a pipeline burst during heavy rain, possibly as a result of a lightning strike.
He stated that the country’s fuel supply would not be affected by the fire.
According to the acting Governor of Jakarta, Heru Budi Hartono, approximately 600 displaced individuals were being transported to temporary shelters at a sports stadium and a number of government offices.
According to Jakarta’s fire and rescue chief Satriadi Gunawan, at least 17 people had died, including two children, and 50 had been taken to the hospital, some with severe burns.
Gunawan stated, “The fire caused several explosions and quickly spread to residential houses.”
Erick Thohir, Indonesia’s minister of State-Owned Enterprises, offered his condolences to the victims and their loved ones and instructed Pertamina to conduct a thorough investigation of the fire and concentrate on providing prompt assistance to the community.
A future operational evaluation is necessary. In a video statement, Thohir said, “I’ll continue to monitor this case.”
The Plumpang fuel depot has experienced two major fires in the past few weeks. At least 40 houses in the area were destroyed by fire in 2014, but no injuries were reported.
Gajah Mada University energy analyst Fahmi Radhi urged Pertamina and the government to move the depot away from the community settlements nearby right away.
In an interview with KOMPAS TV, he stated, “Pertamina has been negligent by not using international standard security systems.” He stated that no efforts had been made to implement such a system since the fire in 2014, and regular inspections should be carried out to prevent additional fires.
“Pertamina’s top managerial staff ought to be considered answerable for this lethal fire by being excused right away,” Radhi said.
In 2018, a fire in the port city of Balikpapan killed five people and sickened hundreds due to an oil spill. Pertamina was using a broken pipe to move crude oil, according to the authorities.
A fire at the largest oil refinery on the main island of Java, Cilacap, in March 2021 forced the evacuation of 80 nearby residents and injured at least 20 others. One of Pertamina’s six refineries, Cilacap can process 270,000 barrels per day. Eight months later, a fire at the West Java province’s Pertamina Balongan Refinery forced the evacuation of more than 900 people.
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