Pertamina Oil Depot Fire Kills 17 in North Jakarta
Jakarta. At least 17 people including two children were killed after a fire broke out at a major oil depot belonging to state-run oil company Pertamina in North Jakarta on Friday night.
Evacuation works at Plumpang Oil Storage were still underway on Friday night involving a joint team of the fire department, the National Police, the military, and the disaster mitigation agency.
Firefighters managed to put out the fire at around 10:45 p.m. (15:45 GMT), more than two hours after the flame began to engulf houses, and continued to search for the victims. At least 50 people with burns were rushed to a number of hospitals in the capital city.
The depot was surrounded by residential areas in the densely-populated area of Koja.
“We will conduct a thorough evaluation internally to prevent a recurrence of this tragedy,” Pertamina CEO Nicke Widyawati said.
“Pertamina will provide the best possible response to the affected residents,” she added.
The cause of the fire is being investigated, but reports said a pipe leak is suspected to have caused the flame.
State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir said the government’s priority is to restore the situation and rescue residents to safety.
“My condolences to the families of the victims. We are all saddened by this tragedy,” Erick said in a video message posted on Instagram.
“I have instructed Pertamina to investigate this case thoroughly. All residents living near the facility must be evacuated immediately. The safety of nearby residents and workers at the facility is our priority,” the minister said, adding that he will monitor in person the internal investigation by Pertamina.
The storage is Pertamina’s biggest in the country with a capacity of close to 300,000 kiloliters of oil. When running at its normal capacity, the amount of oil stored at the depot accounts for 10 percent of national supplies.
It was the second major incident in 14 years after the depot caught fire that destroyed storage with 2,500 kiloliters of oil in January 2009.Tags: