An Oil Refinery in Indonesia Is Engulfed in Flames
Photo by hendra yuwana via Shutterstock
One of Indonesia’s largest oil refineries broke into flames on March 28.
The fire engulfed the Balongan refinery in West Java, run by state oil firm Pertamina. The refinery caught fire at 1:45 a.m. local time March 29 (5:45 p.m. GMT March 28).
At least five people were seriously injured, and are in the hospital being treated for severe burns, according to the regional disaster management agency. Another 15 are being treated for minor burns. The disaster agency also said one person died of a heart attack after the explosion.
About 950 nearby residents were evacuated, and a handful of people are still unaccounted for.
The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this point, but the company said it began during a lightning storm.
The Balongan refinery is not only the largest refinery, but is also one of the most crucial, as it feeds fuel and petrochemicals to the greater Jakarta area. The plant opened in the mid-90’s, refining about 125,000 barrels of oil daily.
There have been questions if the fire will disrupt fuel supply due to it’s high volume of stock. Mulyono, Pertamina’s logistics and infrastructure director, said “There’s more than enough national supply.”
Greenpeace is calling for an investigation into the accident. “These kinds of dangerous incidents have been happening repeatedly in fossil fuel industries,” the environmental group said.
“If there’s any evidence of negligence or a violation of [health and safety] procedures, the government must file criminal charges to hold Pertamina accountable.”
Videos of the fire are circling the media.