One crew member dies in oil tanker fire in Makassar


The Soechi Lesmana oiltanker, delivering 3,000 tons of fuel owned by state-own oil and gas company PT Pertamina Fuel Retail Marketing Region VII, caught fire in Mamuju waters in West Sulawesi early on Monday. One crew member died in the incident, while two others were injured.

The tanker and its 20 crew members was en route from Pare-Pare to Donggala in Central Sulawesi.

The post commander of the Indonesian naval installation in Mamuju, 1st Lt. Jajat Sudrajat said that the incident was triggered by a fire in the machine room, which led to an explosion at 3:30 a.m. local time (2:30 a.m. in Jakarta).

“When the oil tanker was sailing in Mamuju waters about 20 miles out from Belang-Belang port in Mamuju, the tanker’s engine exploded. One died, while two others were severely injured,” Jajat said.

All of the ship’s crew members have been evacuated to Mamuju.

Company spokesperson Rosina Nurdin said that she was unaware of the incident, while another company representative, Umar Isnu, confirmed the incident and the fact that the tanker was chartered by Pertamina’s Pare-Pare office, but declined to elaborate on the details, such as the type of the fuel carried on board.

“We do not yet know the chronology nor the cause of the incident,” he said. (swd)


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