JAKARTA, Indonesia — An oil refinery on Java island in Indonesia caught hearth early Monday, sending flames and smoke towering into the sky, injuring at the very least 5 individuals and prompting an evacuation of almost 1,000 close by residents.
The blaze on the Balongan refinery in West Java Province, which began shortly after midnight, was seen for miles and burned by means of the evening.
In movies of the fireplace shared on social media, the sound of an explosion could be heard on the facility, which is about 110 miles east of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
Pertamina, the state-owned firm that operates the refinery, stated that tons of of individuals had been evacuated from the realm and urged that the fireplace could have been began by a lightning strike.
“The reason for the fireplace will not be recognized with certainty, however on the time of the incident, it was raining closely accompanied by lightning,” the corporate stated in a press release.
Ifki Sukarya, a Pertamina spokesman, stated three big storage tanks had caught hearth and, almost 10 hours later, crews had been nonetheless making an attempt to extinguish the blaze and preserve it from spreading to a fourth tank.
All 5 individuals who had been injured lived close to the refinery, he stated. Residents reported a robust scent of gasoline, which induced some individuals to turn into ailing.
Two years in the past, the corporate was liable for one other catastrophe when crude oil leaked from an offshore nicely and contaminated a 12-mile stretch of West Java shoreline between the refinery and Jakarta. Environmentalists criticized the corporate for performing too slowly to comprise the spill.
The corporate stated the fireplace wouldn’t jeopardize its gasoline provide. The refinery primarily provides the Jakarta space. The corporate has sufficient gasoline available to provide the nation for 4 weeks.
Dera Menra Sijabat reported from Jakarta and Richard C. Paddock from Bangkok.