Disasters & Accidents

At least 17 killed in Indonesia fuel depot fire

(Update 1: Upgrades death toll, adds detail)

Jakarta, Mar 4 (EFE).- At least 17 people died and 18 remain unaccounted for after an explosion and subsequent massive fire at a fuel depot owned by the state energy company Pertamina in the north of the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

At least 49 people were seriously injured in the incident, authorities said Saturday.

Preliminary investigations suggest the explosion and fire were caused by a lighting strike on Friday night, local fire service chief Abdul Wahid told reporters.

The national agency for disaster management said at least 1,085 people have been evacuated from different areas of the city due to the damage caused by the fire.

Rescue teams are continuing their search for 18 people who remain unaccounted for after the blast.

Nicke Widayawati, the director of Pertamina, said the company would open an investigation into the incident to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Videos and photos of the incident showed a massive fire raging at the depot, with flames as high as 30 meters, and locals trying to flee from the densely populated area.

Authorities said that the depot had the capacity of storing around 300,000 kiloliters of fuel.

In March 2021, at least five people were killed and 950 had to be evacuated due to a fire in a Pertamina refinery in Balongan, situated in the West Java province.EFE


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