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    Wednesday, 25 April 2018

    Fire at an illegal oil well in Indonesia kills 10, injures 40

    At least 10 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a huge blaze at an illegal oil well in Indonesia, authorities said Wednesday.

    An oil spill sparked a huge fire about 1:30 am (1830 GMT Tuesday) in a residential area on Sumatra Island’s Aceh province, destroying at least three houses and still burning out of control mid-morning.
    “The [fire] is still soaring high and has not yet successfully been extinguished,” said Saiful, head of Aceh’s Ranto Peureulak sub-district.
    At least 10 bodies have been recovered and the death toll is expected to rise, police said, while injured victims were being treated at local hospitals.
    Firefighters were at the scene, with state-owned oil company Pertamina assisting their efforts.
    Police said the victims were collecting oil from around the entrance of an oil wellbore when the blaze erupted.
    It was not known how much oil was spilt or what ignited the fire. East Aceh is dotted with numerous small-scale oil mining operations, which are often run illegally by local villagers.
    Although authorities said the operation was illegal, deadly fires are not uncommon in Indonesia, a sprawling country of more than 260 million people where safety regulations are often flouted.
    In October, 47 people died after a blaze tore through a fireworks factory outside Jakarta. Workplace safety is often lacking in Indonesia and there are also concerns about lax building standards.
    This year, Jakarta temporarily halted all elevated transportation projects after a dozen major accidents killed five and wounded dozens more.
    That directive followed a balcony collapse at the Jakarta Stock Exchange building which injured dozens.
    Firefighters in Indonesia are struggling to contain a blaze at an oil well in the northwestern province of Aceh that killed ten people and injured as many as 40, authorities said on Wednesday.
    Flames towered over houses and trees as firefighters hosed down the area while villagers watched, in pictures posted on social media by Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman of Indonesia´s disaster mitigation agency.
    "We are still collecting data on the number of victims because the fire has not been extinguished yet," the agency said in a statement.

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