Indonesian firefighters battle oil refinery inferno

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesian firefighters were working yesterday to put out a large blaze at one of the country’s biggest oil refineries that has been burning for more than two days after an explosion rocked the facility.

Crews blasted fire-suppressing foam on two still-burning storage tanks to quench the inferno that severely injured at least six people early Monday.

Thick plumes of black smoke shot into the sky at the Balongan refinery in West Java, owned by state oil company Pertamina. By yesterday, two of the tanker fires had been extinguished.

“Pertamina is focussed on extinguishing fires at the two other tankers,” it said in a statement.

About a thousand locals have been evacuated from the area.

The cause of the fire was not clear, but the company said the blaze broke out during a lightning storm.

The local disaster agency said one person had died from a heart attack after the explosion.