Explosion Reported at Balongan Oil Refinery in Indonesia

A massive fire erupted at the Balongan oil refinery in West Java province early Monday has injured over 20 people and evacuated nearly 1,000, authorities say.

The state-owned energy company Pertamina has shut down operations in West Java as authorities struggle to contain the fire at the facility producing 125,000 barrels a day. 

Of the 21 injured, five have suffered serious injuries, official Antara News reported. 

Local media reported that the fire began around midnight as a loud blast was heard by residents. 

“The cause of the incident is still being investigated by the authorities,” Pertamina said in a statement.

“Currently, a normal shutdown is being carried out to control the flow of oil and prevent the expansion of fires,” the statement added. 

The company has also prepared evacuation sites for affected residents.  

Pertamina President Director Nicke Widyawati said that the incident originated around a fuel storage tank but did not affect processing.

“We hope the plant can be operational again soon after we put out the fire so there are no disruptions to supply,” Widyawati said. 

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