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Jakarta Post

Ship's captain named suspect in Balikpapan oil spill

  • N. Adri

    The Jakarta Post

Balikpapan, East Kalimantan   /   Thu, April 26, 2018   /   08:36 pm
Ship's captain named suspect in Balikpapan oil spill Two tugboats strive to extinguish fires on the deck of Panama-flagged cargo vessel MV Ever Judger in waters of Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan, on March 31. (Antara/Sheravim)

The captain of the MV Ever Judger, a Chinese national identified only as ZD, 50, has been named a suspect in the Balikpapan oil spill in East Kalimantan.

The skipper and 21 members of the crew of the Panamanian ship have been detained in Balikpapan.

The East Kalimantan Police have charged ZD under Article 99 of the Environmental Protection Law, which carries a maximum sentence of nine years in jail. He was also charged under Article 359 of the Criminal Code on negligence that causes fatalities, which carries a maximum of five years in prison.

The oil spill on March 31 caused a fire and led to the death of five fishermen. The spill came from an undersea oil pipeline belonging to state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina.

“The captain ordered the chief mate to drop anchor,” Sr. Comr. Yustan Alpiani, the East Kalimantan Police director of special crimes said on Thursday afternoon.

Along with communications records, the police also have material attached to the anchor, which matches the concrete cover of the broken oil pipe.

The records show the pilot told the captain not to drop anchor at that spot because it was a prohibited area.(evi)