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Fire at Indonesian Oil Depot Kills 14; Thousands Evacuated

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A large fire broke out at a fuel storage depot in Indonesia’s capital on Friday, killing at least 14 people, injuring dozens of others and forcing the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents after spreading to their neighborhood, officials said. .

The fuel storage station, operated by state-run oil and gas company Pertamina, is near a densely populated area in the 0Tanah Merah neighborhood in North Jakarta. It supplies 25% of Indonesia’s fuel needs.

At least 180 firefighters and 37 fire engines were struggling to contain the blaze in the nearby neighborhood, fire officials said.

Video of the fire broadcast on television showed hundreds of people in the community running in panic while thick plumes of black smoke and orange flames filled the sky and firefighters battled the blaze.

A preliminary investigation showed the fire broke out when a pipeline ruptured during heavy rain, possibly from a lightning strike, said Eko Kristiawan, Pertamina’s area manager.

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He said the fire would not disrupt the country’s fuel supply.

Satriadi Gunawan, who heads Jakarta’s fire and rescue department, said people living in the residential area were still being evacuated and were being taken to a nearby village hall and a mosque.

“The fire caused several explosions and quickly spread to residential houses,” Gunawan said.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dudung Abdurachman, who visited the site, said at least 14 people were dead and 42 had been hospitalised, some with severe burns.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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