16 killed in Indonesia fuel storage depot fire

Officials said at least 16 people were killed and dozens were injured in Indonesia's capital on Friday after a massive fire broke out at a state-run fuel storage depot before firefighters brought it under control.

The raging inferno forced people to flee in fear and forced the evacuation of residential areas near the Pertamina depot in north Jakarta.
According to the North Jakarta fire department, the fire killed 16 people, including two children, and injured at least 50 more.

According to department chief Satriadi Gunawan, many of those killed and injured suffered severe burns after the fire broke out.

The cause of the fire, which began after 8 p.m. local time (1300 GMT), was unknown.

The fire was extinguished several hours after it began, according to army chief of staff Dudung Abdurachman.

"The fire is already out," he declared.

The military chief and Pertamina both stated that they were looking into the cause.

"Pertamina is focused on putting out the fire and evacuating nearby workers and residents to a safer location," the company said in a statement.

The oil and gas company's CEO, Nicke Widyawati, stated that the company would "conduct a full internal evaluation... to prevent the reoccurrence of a similar event."

She stated that the country's fuel supply had not been disrupted, with backup supplies coming from the nearest available terminals.

- Second fire in years - Heru said the Indonesian government would contribute to the injured's treatment.

The country's minister of state-owned enterprises, Erick Thohir, expressed his condolences to those killed and injured.

"We are all saddened by his tragedy," he said in a statement, urging Pertamina to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

Television footage showed people screaming and fleeing through narrow streets, with a raging inferno in the sky behind them.

Firefighters were also seen rushing to the scene to put out the fire, while ambulance workers carried body bags to hospitals.

According to Gunawan, firefighters initially received reports that a pipe had burst at the depot, and officers worked quickly to keep the fire from spreading to nearby residential areas.

The main fire station in Jakarta said it had sent 51 units and more than 250 firefighters to the Plumpang depot in north Jakarta.

A massive fire broke out in 2021 at the Balongan refinery in West Java, which is also owned by the state oil company Pertamina and is one of Indonesia's largest oil refineries.

After a massive explosion, the fire raged for two days and forced thousands to flee.

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