OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:36 AM – Sunday, December 24, 2023
An explosion at a Chinese-owned nickel plant in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, has left at least 13 people dead and 46 others injured.
Central Sulawesi Police Chief Agus Nugroho stated that at least four Chinese and nine Indonesian workers died when the furnace exploded while they were repairing it.
Nugroho continued, saying that police are now investigating if the explosion was caused by negligence from the company.
Company Spokesperson Deddy Kurniawan stated that they are working closely with police in the investigation.
“We sincerely apologize for this incident and we are working closely with authorities to investigate what caused the accident,” said Kurniawan.
After an almost four-hour operation, rescuers put out the fire and evacuated the workers, he added.
Kurniawan stated that the furnace was not in use at the moment and was undergoing maintenance in a statement that the business released on Sunday afternoon. However, when the furnace’s “residual slag” came into contact with “flammable items,” the walls collapsed and the remaining steel slag spilled out.
Rachmansyah Ismail, the acting head of the Morowali district, informed the local media that at least 17 of the injured were seriously hurt, and that nearly half of the casualties were foreign workers.
The incident was the third fatal event of the year that occurred at Chinese-owned nickel smelting facilities in Central Sulawesi province, which is Indonesia’s largest nickel reserve.
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