Indonesia: Several killed in oil well fire | News | DW | 25.04.2018
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Indonesia: Several killed in oil well fire

At least 10 people have been killed in a large blaze at an illegal oil well in Indonesia, officials said. The fire was "still soaring high," according to the authorities.

An oil spill sparked a large-scale fire in Indonesia's Aceh province on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens more.

"The [fire] is still soaring high and has not yet successfully been extinguished," said Saiful, head of Aceh's Ranto Peureulak subdistrict, which is located in northwest region of Indonesian island of Sumatra.

What we know so far:

  • A blaze started following an oil spill at about 1:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday (1830 GMT Tuesday).
  • Indonesian authorities said at least 10 people were killed and the death toll was expected to rise.
  • At least five houses were torched as fire spread through a residential area of Pasir Putih village in Aceh.
  • The fire remains out of control hours after the start of the blaze.
  • The Indonesian disaster agency said pipe welding may have caused the fire.

Illegal wells used for profit

Local villagers illegally operate many small oil wells in the eastern section of Aceh province, which boasts significant energy reserves.

According to the state-run Antara news agency, residents of Pasir Putih were collecting oil from the surface of the well when the fire broke out. Officials said state-owned oil company Pertamina was helping firefighters combating the blaze.

More to come...

dj/aw (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)