International Organisation for Industrial Emergency Services Management
Indonesia – Massive Blaze At Pertamina Balongan Refinery – VIDEO
Firefighters in Indonesia are working to put out a massive fire that has broken out at one of the country’s largest oil refineries.
The fire broke out at the Balongan refinery, run by state oil firm Pertamina, at 00:45 local time on Monday (17:45 GMT Sunday).
At least five people are injured and around 950 residents have been evacuated to safety. A handful of people have been reported missing.
The cause of the fire remains unclear.
TV footage and videos on social media showed the fire still raging on Monday morning with a plume of smoke rising high above the refinery, located in West Java province.
“We smelled a strong fuel scent first, so strong that my nose hurt, while we heard lightning strikes,” one nearby resident told local news outlet Metro TV, according to a Reuters report.
According to the regional disaster management agency, five people were being treated in hospital for serious burns with another 15 with minor burns.
Pertamina said the cause of the fire was unknown, but that it started during heavy rain and lightning.
In a press conference later on Monday, the firm said the fire had not damaged the refinery’s processing capabilities and that operations could hopefully return to normal in the next five days.
The fire was focused on the refinery tanks, with no damage to the processing plant, said Reuters, citing Pertamina Chief Executive Officer Nicke Widyawati.