Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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No casualties in fire at Surabaya retail icon

THE JAKARTA POST/ANN – A fire broke out at Tunjungan Plaza, a retail complex located on Jalan Embong Malang in Surabaya, East Java, in one of the worst incidents in the retail icon’s recent history.

The Surabaya 112 Command Centre, the city’s emergency response service, said it deployed a joint response unit involving personnel from the Surabaya Regional Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), the Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the fire department and the local police on receiving reports that a fire had broken out at one of the plaza’s six malls on Wednesday evening.

Some 28 fire trucks were deployed to the scene at 5.30pm along with other first responders from the Surabaya BPBD, Basarnas and local police, the centre said on its Instagram account.

The fire was extinguished at around 6pm before it spread to neighbouring buildings, although the black smoke from the fire hung over the area and only dissipated a few hours later.

Surabaya Mayor Eri Cahyadi, who rushed to the complex on hearing reports of the fire, said that emergency personnel had not found any injured or fatal victims.

Smoke and flames engulf building 5 of the Tunjungan Plaza retail complex. PHOTO: THE STAR

“Thankfully there weren’t any (casualties)when I went up there. The response was very fast.

The (Tunjungan Plaza) management immediately ordered the evacuation of visitors and the security guards directed them,” Eri said at Tunjungan Plaza 5 on Wednesday, as quoted by Kompas.com.

“Hopefully, there aren’t any victims inside (the building).” Authorities were investigating the cause of the fire, which Eri said was initially thought to have started on the fifth floor of plaza 5 and then spread to the lower levels, as the upper levels were largely undamaged.

However, the emergency command centre said the fire was more likely to have started from a refrigeration unit on the 10th floor that had short-circuited.

Property management firm PT Pakuwon Jati Marketing Director Sutandi Purnomosidi echoed this suspicion in a press conference on Thursday, saying that the fire may have been caused by an air conditioning unit on the outside of the building’s cinema on the 10th floor.

Surabaya Police Chief Senior Commissioner Yusep Gunawan earlier said forensics personnel were still investigating the cause of the fire.

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