Indonesian oil refinery engulfed by massive fire

A massive blaze broke out Monday at one of Indonesia’s biggest oil refineries after a huge explosion turned the complex into a raging inferno.

Firefighters battled to contain the fire at the Balongan refinery in West Java, operated by state oil company Pertamina, as towering plumes of black smoke rose into the sky.

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Reports say at least five people were seriously injured and about 1,000 local residents were evacuated from the scene after the fire broke out early Monday morning at a storage tank and then spread to other containers.

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

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About 15 people were slightly injured and authorities said they were checking on the whereabouts of three others.

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

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By Monday afternoon, the disaster agency said the blaze had been contained but was yet to be extinguished.

The sprawling plant which opened in the mid-nineties and can refine some 125,000 barrels of oil a day is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of the capital Jakarta.

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