Fire in Indonesian oil well, 10 killed, several injured

Pulau Busing fire incident
Representational picture SCDF/ Facebook

At least 10 people have been killed and more than 40 are injured in a huge fire at a newly drilled, unregulated oil well in Indonesia on April 25, 2018.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman revealed that the mishap happened at around 01.30 AM in Pasi Putih village in eastern Aceh province. The fire destroyed five houses completely and is still burning out of control mid-morning, reports said.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho revealed that the illegal oil well was gushing when it was ignited, and most of the people who lost their lives were the ones who stood around the well to collect oil. It is still unclear as to how much oil got spilled over or what caused the fire. Authorities also made it clear that all the safety regulations were ignored in the accident area.

Saiful, head of Aceh's Ranto Peureulak subdistrict confirmed that the fire is still roaring at its peak, and is still not extinguished. The police officials involved in the rescue operations said that the death toll may rise in the coming hours.

Edi Gunawan, director of a local hospital told the Indonesian television that most of the people who sought treatment have received burns between 20 and 60 percent. He also revealed that the victims in serious condition were transferred to larger hospitals.

The Aceh province in Indonesia has a significant amount of untapped natural disasters. Illegal oil wells are quite common here and the national disaster agency has described the well as 'traditional' which indicates that it has no owners, and local people collect oil illegally from it.

Indonesia has witnessed several large-scale fire accidents in the recent past. In October 2017, a blaze in a fireworks factory killed 47 people and left several others injured. The recent accident also points out the glaring paucity of workplace safety.