Hundreds evacuated after Indonesian oil refinery catches fire

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An oil refinery in Indonesia caught fire early Monday morning, leaving six people seriously injured and prompting the evacuation of nearly 1,000 residents. 

The fire, which officials said was caused by lightning, also caused damage to hundreds of houses nearby, according to The New York Times. Pertamina, the state-owned company that runs the oil refinery, released a statement that said it could not estimate when the fire could be contained. 

Clips of the fire show panicked residents as well as a loud explosion coming from the inferno. Authorities shared that a 61-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died during the chaos. 

Ifki Sukarya, a Pertamina spokesman said that four gasoline storage tanks caught on fire. 

Twenty-three other people suffered minor injuries, and some residents became ill due to the strong smell of the fuel. 

A similar accident happened at the refinery two years ago when crude oil leaked offshore, contaminating 12 miles of the West Java shoreline. 

Company officials announced that they will have the refinery operating within four to five days. They said there was enough gasoline on hand to supply the country.


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