17 people are killed and thousands are evacuated in an Indonesian oil storage fire
At least 17 people were killed and dozens more were hurt when a large fire at a fuel storage depot in the capital of Indonesia on Friday forced the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents after spreading to their neighborhood, according to authorities.
The state-run oil and gas company Pertamina's Plumpang fuel storage facility is located in North Jakarta's Tanah Merah neighborhood close to a heavily populated region. 25% of Indonesia's petroleum requirements are met by it.
Fire authorities reported that 52 fire engines and at least 260 firefighters were battling to put out the blaze in the adjacent neighborhood.
Hundreds of residents were seen fleeing in panic in the footage of the fire that was broadcast on television as thick plumes of smoke rose into the sky Firefighters fought the blaze as the atmosphere was filled with orange and black flames.
According to a preliminary investigation, the fire started when a pipeline ruptured during a downpour, probably as a result of a lightning strike, according to Eko Kristiawan, the area manager for Pertamina.
He claimed that the fire wouldn't affect the nation's fuel source.
The director of Jakarta's fire and rescue department, Satriadi Gunawan, reported that residents of the residential area were still being taken to a nearby village hall and mosque as they were being evacuated.
According to Gunawan, the fire started several explosions and rapidly spread to houses.
He claimed that 50 people had been admitted to hospitals, some with severe burns, and that at least 17 people had died, including two minors.
Erick Thohir, Indonesia's Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, sent his sympathies Pertamina was instructed to conduct a thorough investigation into the fire and concentrate on providing prompt assistance to the victims and their relatives.
"In the future, a practical assessment is required. I'll keep an eye on this situation "In a video message, Thohir said.
The second significant incident to occur at the Plumpang fuel depot was on Friday. At least 40 nearby homes were destroyed by fire in 2014, but there were no known casualties.
Energy analyst Fahmi Radhi encouraged Pertamina and the government to relocate the depot as soon as possible away from the neighborhood community settlements.
In an interview with KOMPAS TV, he stated, "Pertamina has been negligent by not using world standard security systems. Since the 2014 fire, he claimed, there had been no attempts to place such a to prevent further fires, a system should be in place, and frequent inspections should be carried out.
The board of directors of Pertamina should be promptly removed as punishment for this fatal fire, according to Radhi.