A fire outbreak in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta kills at least 17 people leaving several with serious injuries after a fuel depot storage burst into flames.
According to News Agencies, the fire, which started at around 8 pm (01:00 GMT) on Friday, March 3 from a fuel pipe at Pertamina’s Plumpang fuel storage depot in Jakarta, spread to the nearby houses.
Sixty people were seriously injured and severely burned, while hundreds more living in residential areas near the depot had to be evacuated following the deadly incident.
The North Indonesia Red Cross said that 342 people had been evacuated and four tents were set up for the displaced.
After the occurrence, three people were still missing, with Indonesian officials the next day calling for an audit of “all fuel facilities and infrastructures” in the country.
An aerial view of a residential area, after the fire broke out at a fuel storage station operated by Indonesia’s state energy company Pertamina showed how the fire destroyed people’s properties.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin visited the area on Saturday and confirmed 17 people were killed by the fire and 60 more were injured.
In a statement, he suggested that the depot should be moved away from the residential neighbourhoods.
“I hope this depot can be relocated to a strategic location so it will be safer and this area will be rearranged so it meets the required necessities of a proper neighbourhood in the capital of Indonesia,” Vice President Ma’ruf Amin told journalists.
Footage broadcast on Friday night showed people screaming and fleeing through narrow roads with an inferno lighting up the sky behind them.
A fireball could be seen across the skyline of north Jakarta with sirens wailing in the background.
Abdul Syukur, who also lives nearby, told Kompas TV that residents said they could smell the fuel about 30 minutes before the fire.
“The smell was so strong there were people throwing up and some nearly fainted,” he said.
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Witness, Swastono Aji, told AFP News Agency that the smell “was so strong that they could hardly breathe”.
“It was like a bomb, like a mini apocalypse. It was unimaginable,” another witness Jamilul Asror, told AFP, calling on authorities to relocate residents farther away from the place.
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National Police chief Listyo Sigit, speaking at the location, said at least three people were still missing.
Top officials have called for a probe into the fire’s cause and an audit of the country’s energy facilities after several recent blazes.
“After we had multiple fires it is clear that we must audit all fuel facilities and infrastructures, especially tanks and refineries,” the head of the parliament’s energy commission Sugeng Suparwoto, told the local broadcaster Metro TV on Saturday.
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