Indonesia: Aftermath of earthquake in Jayapura
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A devastating blaze has ravaged an Indonesian residential area, killing at least 17 people, including two children. The fire, which started at an oil depot on Friday in the highly populated Tenah Merah area of North Jakata, has also injured dozens more.
Homes have been evacuated by thousands in the area, while local TV footage shows many more running from the flames.
The fuel storage facility supplies approximately 25 per cent of the country’s oil and gas, and is operated by Pertamina, a state-run company.
At least 260 firefighters on 52 fire engines were called to the scene, according to officials.
Despite the manpower, the service were struggling to contain the raging fire.
Early investigations show the inferno began when a fuel pipe became damaged during a period of heavy rain, possibly from a lightning strike.
“I have ordered Pertamina to immediately investigate this case thoroughly,” said the Minister of State-Owned Enterprise Erick Thohir via his Instagram page.
“There must be an operational review,” he added.
Indonesia’s parliamentary energy committee leader, Sugeng Suparwoto, has called for Pertamina’s facilities to be audited, according to the Daily Star.
“All facilities, whether refineries or storage, must be audited again,” he told KompasTV.
He went on: “For a facility with Plumpang’s capacity, there should be at least one to two kilometres distance with residential area.”
This is the second fire of its kind starting from the depot, after there was a similar incident in 2014 that saw 40 properties swallowed by the flames.
“Pertamina has been negligent by not using international standard security systems,” energy analyst Fahmi Radhi said.
“Pertamina’s board of directors should be held responsible for this deadly fire by being dismissed immediately.”
Mr Radhi also said Pertamina and the Indonesian government must move the depot away from residential areas.
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