Huge fire at Pertamina’s refinery injures locals, triggers evacuations

A massive fire broke out at state-run oil firm PT Pertamina’s Balongan refinery in Indramayu, West Java, on early Monday, inflicting injuries to dozens of local residents and leading to evacuations of hundreds of villagers.

Spokesman of the West Java Police Senior Commissioner Erdi A. Chaniago spoke of the personnel having evacuated hundreds of people from two villages near the location.

“Since last night, we have secured the scene and around the location,” Chaniago noted here on Monday.

The police moved people out of the two villages in proximity to the oil refinery to nearly two kilometers away from the scene.

The Balongan oil refinery is located some 100 kilometers off West Java’s capital city of Bandung.

“We cannot forecast whether the fire can be stopped soon or it would spread to other locations,” he remarked.

Five people have so far suffered burn injuries, while a dozen others sustained mild injuries owing to the fire.

Meanwhile, PT Pertamina has yet to identify the cause of the fire that broke out at 00.45 a.m. local time on Monday.

The company has made assurance that the incident would not hinder fuel oil supply to consumers.

“We can ensure that fuel oil supply to the public would not be obstructed, and currently, it has run normally,” Corporate Secretary of Subholding Refining Petrochemical PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional, Ifki Sukarya noted in a statement.

The fire broke out at Balongan’s T-301G tank amid lashing rains and lightning in the area.

Witnesses claimed that the fire was visible from a distance of five kilometers.

As many as 200 people were evacuated to the Indramayu District office, 400 people to the Indramayu Islamic Center, and 350 people to the Bumi Patra Complex sports center.

Sukarya noted that the residents, who suffered burn injuries, were passing by the location when the fire erupted and were receiving treatment at the Indramayu Public Hospital.

Pertamina and the Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel have cordoned off the area. “We call on people to stay calm and avoid the fire scene,” he remarked.

The company will provide logistics to the evacuees.

Moreover, it has deployed the Healthy Safety, Security, and Environment (HSSE) team from the nearest units of the Cilacap Refinery, Production and Exploration Refinery, Plaju Refinery to work jointly with the Indramayu Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) to extinguish the fire.


Source: Antara News

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