Massive blaze erupts at an oil refinery in Indonesia

Firefighters in Indonesia are working to put out a massive fire that has broken out at one of the country’s largest oil refineries.

The fire broke out at the Balongan refinery, run by state oil firm Pertamina, at 00:45 local time on Monday (17:45 GMT Sunday).

At least five people are injured and around 950 residents have been evacuated to safety. A handful of people have been reported missing. The cause of the fire remains unclear. TV footage and videos on social media showed the fire still raging on Monday morning with a plume of smoke rising high above the refinery, located in West Java province.

According to the regional disaster management agency, five people were being treated in hospital for serious burns with another 15 for minor burns. Residents from a nearby village have been evacuated to several different camps with the relief efforts further complicated by Covid-19 measures.

In a press conference later on Monday, the firm said the fire had not damaged the refinery’s processing capabilities and that operations could hopefully return to normal in the next five days.


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