Indonesia fuel depot fire kills 16, more than 12 missing

Jakarta – Indonesian rescuers and firefighters said at least 16 people were missing under the rubble of charred homes and buildings after a massive fire spread from a fuel depot in the capital on Saturday, killing at least 12 people. searched for.

Operated by state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina, the Prang Pang fuel storage station is located near a densely populated area in the Tanah Merah district of North Jakarta. It supplies 25% of Indonesia’s fuel demand.

At least 260 firefighters and 52 fire trucks extinguished the fire just before midnight on Friday after it tore through the neighborhood for more than two hours, according to fire officials.

Footage showed hundreds of people panicking as black smoke and orange flames filled the sky.

Pertamina’s West Java Area Manager Eko Kristiawan said preliminary investigations showed that the pipeline burst during heavy rains and the fire was probably caused by a lightning strike.

According to residents near the station, the strong smell of gasoline made them feel nauseous, followed by two thunderstorms, followed by a large explosion around 8:00 p.m.

Sri Haryati, a mother of three children, said the fire started spreading about 20 minutes later and caused panic.

“I was crying, so I quickly grabbed some valuable papers and ran with my husband and children,” Hariyati said, as a small explosion echoed through the neighborhood as orange flames leaped from the warehouse. He added.

Rescuers were looking for 16 people reported missing or separated from their families in the chaos. About 49 people were being treated in five hospitals, some of them in critical condition.

According to National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo, more than 1,300 people have been evacuated to 10 government offices, a Red Cross command post and a sports stadium.

He said investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire and were questioning dozens of witnesses.

Pertamina head Nicke Widyawati apologized and said the company would provide assistance to the community and cooperate with the investigation.

“We will conduct a thorough internal evaluation and reflection to prevent a similar incident from happening again,” Widyawati said in a statement, adding that the company had ensured a safe supply of fuel oil.

On Saturday, grieving relatives gathered at the police hospital morgue in east Jakarta to try to identify their loved ones. It said it could only be identified by records.

In 2014, a fire at the same fuel depot destroyed at least 40 homes, but no casualties were reported.

Indonesia’s State Enterprises Minister Eric Tohir told reporters that the government would remap safe zones in residential areas away from important objects.

He said the incident showed the Prangpang area was not safe for the community and the government was planning to move the fuel depot to the Tanjung Priok port north of Jakarta.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2023/03/04/16-still-missing-after-indonesia-oil-depot-fire-kills-15/ Indonesia fuel depot fire kills 16, more than 12 missing

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