A huge oil refinery has been involved in West Java, Indonesia, after an explosion at midnight on Monday.
The flames quickly spiraled out of control, seriously injuring five people and evacuating about a thousand people to the site. One died later of a heart attack. The cause of the fire not yet known, as heavy rain and thunderstorms were just before the eruption, causing some people to fall as suspects of lightning. Others have suggested bad games, though.
“There was a loud noise and I thought it was a hurricane,” Rumaji, a local resident, told the Guardian. “I looked outside and the fire was huge the flames were throwing into the sky.” Firefighters are still fighting at the scene. According to Pertamina chief executive Nick Widyawati, the fire has been contained in a small area and may extinguish soon.
“Yesterday we carried out an isolated fire control operation, now we are making aggressive efforts to extinguish the fire further,” Pertamina representative Ifki Sukarya told Reuters today. The Balongan Refinery is one of Indonesia’s largest oil refineries and is operated and operated by Pertamina, a state-owned oil and natural gas exploration company. Currently controlling six refineries across Indonesia, the Balongan refinery was their second smallest plant, but their latest refinery will built, which processes about 125,000 barrels of oil per day.
However, after lightning and thunderstorms, the fire broke out around 00:45 a.m. Monday morning. “We first smelled a strong fuel, so strong that my nose hurt,” resident Susie told local media outlet Metro TV, according to Reuters. “Suddenly the sky was orange,”
Users went to social media to share videos and images of the ongoing fire, with some people showing firewalls above trees. Residents fled for their lives in fear of a second explosion. Officials said no one died as a direct result of the fire, with local media reporting one death from a heart attack from shots. Many expressed concern that the destruction of the Balongan refinery would have a major impact on the Indonesian economy, but Pertamina explained otherwise. According to the Guardian, all the remaining oil is there and will redistributed to other refineries, and Pertamina said there is “more than enough national supply”.