At least 500 people were evacuated today from an Indonesian village after a massive fire broke out at the Pertamina Balongan Refinery in Indonesia's West Java province.
Residents of Balongan village were moved to two evacuation centres.
A loud blast was heard at the Balongan oil refinery early this morning and video footage captured large flames and thick black smoke soaring upward into the sky.
According to local media, citing eyewitnesses, the explosion was heard up to a radius of tens of kilometres from the epicentre. "At around 00.30 [local time] there was a very strong explosion. Residents' homes were shaking and some had broken glass," one of the witnesses told Teras Pendopo.
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Authorities urged residents to stay calm and keep away from the fire. Four residents injured while passing through the area suffered burns and arebeing treated at the Indramayu regional hospital.
Pertamina officials said the cause of the fire was not clear, but there was lightening and heavy rain at the time the massive fire broke out.
Television reports showed explosions and thick plumes of black smoke and orange flames filling the sky.
"We did a normal shutdown to control the flow of oil and stop the blaze from expanding," Ifki Sukarya, corporate secretary of Subholding Refining Petrochemical PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional, said in a press statement.