Petronas’ Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline (SSGP) in Lawas, Malaysia, exploded today, killing one and leaving two injured. 

According to a spokesperson for the fire and rescue department at Sarawak operating centre, the body of contractor Hadi Wiyono was found inside a burned excavator. The fire also destroyed three other vehicles.

In a statement, the spokesperson continued: “Upon arrival at the scene, the operation commander said the extent of the fire and explosion was within a 400-metre radius. The fire also razed a motorcycle, an excavator, a bulldozer and a lorry.”. 

“The State Government expects Petronas to take every precaution to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future,” deputy premier of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, said in an interview Malaymail reported

Petronas suspects that the incident involves a third-party contractor operating along the pipeline’s right-of-way, the narrow strip of land surrounding the pipeline. Those operations were unrelated to SSGP flows, according to Petronas. The company has since filed a police complaint against the contractor. 

“Investigation is underway to ascertain the actual cause of the incident, whether it was due to soil movement or ongoing construction work of the Sabah-Sarawak Link Road project in the area,” Sebi Abang, chairman of the Limbang division disaster committee, said.

Following the incident, Abang asked the public in Long Ugui, Lawas, not to approach the SSGP project site. The company said in a statement that it would work closely with the relevant authorities to take the appropriate action and preventative steps to contain the issue and protect the surrounding community and environment.