Indonesia: at least seventeen deaths in fire of fuel deposit

Friday, at least fifty people were also injured in the fire of the Plumpang site, ownership of the national petroleum company Pertamina.

mo12345lemonde with AFP

residents were searches on Saturday, March 4, the charred rubble of their houses after the murderous fire of a fuel deposit in Djakarta. At least seventeen people, two children, died and fifty were injured in the disaster that led the Indonesian government to request the opening of an investigation.

“It started with a very strong odor. So strong that you could hardly breathe,” said the France-Presse Swastono Aji agency, a witness. “We were leaving when we suddenly heard a very strong explosion.”

The fire broke out Friday evening at the Plumpang depot, owned by the national petroleum company Pertamina, in the north of the capital, Djakarta, according to the city firefighters, who transmitted the human record. Many injured have undergone serious burns and hundreds of other people living near the deposit had to be evacuated, they added.

Members of the Government, including the Minister responsible for the Business owned by the State, Erick Thohir, asked for an investigation to determine the cause of the accident as well as an audit in the country’s energy infrastructure after several fires last years. “I ordered Pertamina to immediately investigate this case and we now focus on the help of the population. There must be operational control in the future,” wrote the minister on Friday on Instagram .

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“After we have had several fires (…) It is clear that we must control all the oil installations and infrastructure, in particular tanks and refineries,” abounded on the Metro TV channel on Saturday, the president From the Parliament’s Energy Commission, Sugeng Suparwoto.

In 2021, a huge fire took place at the Balongan refinery, also owned by Pertamina, in the west of the island of Java, one of the largest in the country. Fires had already declared itself at the Plumpang deposit in 2009 then in 2014 -forty houses had been affected that year -without making any victim.

Saturday morning, the houses near the fire were ripped off and blackened. Further on, whole rows of charred cars. A child stood in the middle of the scene while help evacuated a body in a mortuary bag. The night before, television images showed people fleeing by shouting by narrow streets and, behind them, gigantic flames rising to the sky.

The army and Pertamina said they were investigating the cause of the tragedy, which is not yet known. Djakarta firefighters, Satriadi Gunawan, said he had received preliminary information that an installation pipe had broken out.

The fuel supply has not been interrupted, other terminals that took over, said the Director General of Pertamina, Nicke Widyawa.

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the acting governor of Djakarta, Heru Budi Hartono, assured that the government would pay the care of the wounded, many of whom were still in the hospital on Saturday. The Red Cross of the north of Djakarta reported that 342 people had been evacuated and that it had drawn up four tents to accommodate the displaced.

/Media reports cited above.