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Erick orders buffer zone creation around oil depots after deadly fire

Jakarta Globe - March 5, 2023

Investor.id, Jakarta – State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir ordered the creation of buffer zones between oil and gas refineries and residential areas, following the devastating fire at state-run oil company Pertamina's oil depot that killed at least 17 people in North Jakarta on Friday.

Erick instructed the oil company to launch a safety audit on all its refineries located in the middle of residential areas.

"I ask for an audit on all Pertamina refineries located too close to houses and come out with a solution. We shouldn't let this issue become a long-standing impediment. We have to create buffer zones between [the facilities] and community members," Erick said on Saturday.

On the tragedy on Friday, Erick said he won't blame anyone, "but people died and we cannot take this lightly".

Excavators and bulldozers were deployed at the oil depot in Koja, North Jakarta on Sunday morning to clean debris and search for more victims. The fire engulfed tens of houses located just meters away from the depot, causing huge casualties.

At least 50 people were hospitalized with severe degrees of burns.

National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo said most of the deceased were burned beyond recognition, with only two bodies having been identified as of Saturday.

Listyo said the fire broke out during the loading process of high-octane fuel product Pertamax arriving from a Pertamina refinery in Balongan, West Java.

"There was a technical failure during the loading process that caused too much pressure and triggered the fire," the police chief said on Saturday.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/erick-orders-buffer-zone-creation-around-oil-depots-after-deadly-fir