At least 15 people have died after a fire broke out in one of Pertamina’s fuel storage stations in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia. Another 60 people have been injured, with many severely burnt, and more than 1000 have been displaced following the blaze.
The fire broke out at around 8pm local time on Friday, in the plumbing facility of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina.
The fire spread to nearby residential areas causing panic. Concerns have been raised as to the proximity between the facility and the residential district on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island.
Local residents told Al Jazeera that they could smell fuel for at least 30 minutes before the fire broke out. Preliminary investigations suggest that a ruptured pipeline is the cause of the blaze. It is believed that the pipeline was damaged during heavy rainfall.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin visited the scene on Saturday. He suggested that the facility be moved away from the residential area to prevent similar incidents in future.
Plumpang is one of Pertamina’s biggest fuel terminals with a storage capacity of more than 300,000 kilolitres. It reportedly supplies around 25% of the nation’s fuel, the company reports that supply will not be affected.
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Minister of state-owned enterprise Erick Thohir said on his Instagram page that he has “ordered Pertamina to immediately investigate this case thoroughly” and that “there must be an operational review”.
Fires at Plumpang fuel storage facility also broke out in 2009 and again in 2014, when the blaze spread to 40 nearby homes. Neither of these cases, however, saw casualties.
In 2021 a fire broke out at the Balongan refinery in West Java, also owned by Pertamina. At least five were injured and 950 people were evacuated for safety following the blaze.