Flames rose high in the sky on Monday after one of Indonesia’s largest refineries burned down, the disaster management agency said. Injured people have been taken care of and three people remain missing.
Firefighters were still struggling to contain the blaze several hours after the fire started early Monday at the Balongan refinery in western Java Island, some 200 kilometers from the capital Jakarta. Images from the site showed an oil complex in flames and a vast plume of black smoke high in the sky.
Three missing persons
The toll in the morning was “five people seriously injured, fifteen with minor injuries and three people still wanted,” said the national disaster management agency.
A thousand residents had to be evacuated and the local disaster management agency reported one death due to a heart attack after an explosion. “We have stopped operations to prevent the fire from spreading (…) and we are making every effort to control the flames,” said Nicke Widyawati, general manager of the public oil company Pertamina in charge of the site.
The cause of the fire was not determined at this point but the company said the fire started during a heavy thunderstorm with lightning. Pertamina does not, however, expect disruptions in the supply of hydrocarbons to the Southeast Asian archipelago thanks to a high volume of stocks.