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Massive Fire at Indonesia Oil Refinery


Smoke rises during a fire at Pertamina's oil refinery in Balongan, Indramayu regency

About 1,000 residents have been evacuated from an Indonesian village after a massive fire at a nearby oil refinery.

The inferno at the Pertamina Balongan Refinery in West Java province sent huge plumes of orange flames and black smoke over four storage tanks on the refinery’s grounds early Monday morning. A spokesman for Pertamina says five people are being treated for burns.

The cause of the fire is unknown, although the blaze started during a lightning storm. Agence France Presse says one person had died from a heart attack after an explosion at the Pertamine plant, located about 225 kilometers east of Jakarta.

Pertamina chief executive Nicke Widyawati said operations at the plant have been shut down as rescue crews continue to battle the blaze.

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