Natural Gas Burst At Boarding School In Pekanbaru, Indonesia Are Toxic And Potential To Burn

PEKANBARU, Teams from the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Riau, together with gas company EMP Bentu Ltd., are handling the incidents of natural gas gushing, on Thursday, at the Al-Ihsan Islamic Boarding School in Pekanbaru.


“The teams visited the location, to ensure that the gas is not dangerous and will handle it directly,” said Head of the Riau Province Information and Information Communication (Diskominfotic) Office, Chairul Riski.


Based on the team’s report, it is known that the gas burst point is 180 metres from the EMP Bentu gas pipe, and one kilometer from the EMP Bentu gas well.


Anticipatory measures were taken by the teams, including measuring the LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) content and H2S content at the location of the gas burst. As a result, it was found that at a distance of five metres the LEL content was 13 percent and 1ppm H2S.


“This means that the gas is quite dangerous, has the potential to burn and is poisonous,” said Riski, citing the teams’ report.


He said, the teams instructed the Al-Ihsan Islamic Boarding School Manager, to cordon off the burst area and prohibit anyone from approaching it. Furthermore, EMP Bentu will monitor the LEL and H2S periodically every six hours.


The school board temporarily evacuated the students until the conditions are safe, namely the LEL content is 0 percent and H2S 0 ppm.


Dozens of students from the School, in Tenayan Raya Subdistrict, Pekanbaru City, had been evacuated.


“There are 34 students who were evacuated to the central Al-Ihsan Islamic Boarding School,” said the school security officer, Sugiarto.


Sugiarto said, “Gas suddenly burst out, when a number of workers dug the ground to drill a well, on Thursday afternoon. The burst makes quite a loud sound and the height of the burst is estimated at 15 metres.”


The location of the blast is close to the Hafiz Al-Quran santri hostel building. The gas that comes out also creates an unpleasant odour. Worried about safety of residents of the school, the management stopped all activities until further notice.



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