1,000 Evacuate after Oil Refinery Catches Fire

The explosion at the Balongan oil refinery in Indramayu, West Java, was felt up to a distance of 5.8 kilometers. Nearly a thousand villagers evacuate as a result of this incident.

Google visual screenshot of Balongan oil refinery. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, INDRAMAYU - An oil refinery in Balongan, Indramayu caught fire on Monday (3/29/2021) at 00:45 a.m. local time. PT Pertamina’s official statement mentioned that the fire first broke out from the T301G tank. The cause of the fire is still not known with certainty, but at the time of the incident, it was raining heavily accompanied by lightning.

In addition, PT Pertamina, who operates the oil refinery, explained that around 200 residents were evacuated to the hall of Indramayu Regency, around 400 people at the Indramayu Islamic Center, and around 350 residents at the Bumi Patra Sports Hall. Residents who were evacuated came from Balongan Village, a village located closest to the refinery.

In addition, a number of residents who were passing by near the oil refinery were also injured. PT Pertamina said that five people were injured and rushed to the hospital. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said 5 people suffered from major injuries while 15 suffered from minor wounds.

When contacted by ACTNews, Mahdor, a resident of Tinumpang Village, Juntinyuat District, Indramayu, said that the sound of the explosion could be heard from his house which is located 5.8 kilometers from the location of the fire. "It felt like an earthquake. My windows were shattered. The vibrations were strongly felt,” Mahdor said on Monday (3/29/2021) morning.

Muhammad Tawwaba from Aksi Cepat Tanggap Cirebon said that Aksi Cepat Tanggap and Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia Cirebon volunteers had been deployed to the site. "We have also assessed the needs of the residents affected by this incident," said Tawwaba. []