At least 10 killed, 19 injured as oil well catches fire in Aceh, Indonesia

Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-25 11:52:38|Editor: Chengcheng
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JAKARTA, April 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people were killed and 19 injured as an oil well in Indonesia's Aceh province caught fire, an official said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in Pasir Putih village of Aceh Timur district in Aceh, the northern tip of Sumatra Island in western Indonesia, according to spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo.

Overproduction caused the oil to spill out from the surface of the well and spread around it at around 12:00 a.m. Jakarta time Tuesday (1700 GMT Monday), attracting dozens of villagers to gather and collect it, the spokesman told Xinhua.

"But suddenly, at 1:30 a.m. (Jakarta time, 1830 GMT Monday) fire appeared and engulfed the area around the well. So that those collecting the crude oil could not escape the fires," he told Xinhua in a text message.

The spokesman said the fire was ignited when a worker was carrying out welding on a pipe which will be put into the well.

A display showed that a column of black ash climbed to the sky as the fire remains, said Sutopo.

The fire consumed three houses.

Fire vehicles arrived at the scene in about an hour to help douse the blaze from a well with a depth of about 250 meters, said Sutopo.

The number of casualties as well as evacuees is still being assessed, he said.

The state-owned oil and gas firm, PT Pertamina planned to stop the fire with a special technology, according to him.

The injured have been rushed to several hospitals, he added.