The Jakarta Post
State-owned energy giant Pertamina and the Balikpapan Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) have clarified that the fire at an oil spill off the coast of Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, which left two people dead, was not caused by cleaning activities as reported on Saturday.
“We are still investigating the cause [of the fire]. There has been an allegation that we ordered the burning off of the oil spill; that is not true,” Arya Dwi Paramita, Pertamina’s external communications manager, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Balikpapan BPBD apologized of making the suggestion, acknowledging it was not correct.
“We are sorry to report that the information that Pertamina ordered the burning of the oil spill is not true. We at the BPBD apologize for the trouble and lack of communication with Pertamina,” the agency stated on its official Facebook account on Saturday.
At least two people, believed to be fishermen, were caught in the blaze and are reported to have died. They were taken to Kanudjoso Hospital, Balikpapan.
The fire was detected at 11 a.m. local time, and by noon had been extinguished by local authorities.
The vessel from which the oil spilled has been identified as the MV Ever Judger 2, a coal transporter that got stuck near the fire. The 20 crew on board have been evacuated to Pertamina Hospital, Balikpapan.
Arya of Pertamina said the company’s facilities nearby, including its pipes and refineries were unaffected by the fire, stressing that there was no disruption to fuel distribution in the surrounding area. (ami/gda)