At least 12 people have been killed in an explosion at a Chinese-funded nickel processing plant in Indonesia. Another 39 people were injured. The accident happened in a province in the eastern part of the country on Sunday.
According to news agency AFP, the accident happened around 5:30 am on Sunday at a plant owned by PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel in Morowali Industrial Park in Central Sulawesi province.
Factory spokesman Dedi Kurniawan said the total number of casualties is now 51. 12 people died in this incident. Another 39 people sustained minor and serious injuries who are currently undergoing treatment.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the blast occurred during repair work on a reactor in the factory. Basically during the repair there was a fire in the flammable liquid. Later, the explosion also caused the nearby oxygen tanks to explode.
Kurniawan said that the fire was successfully extinguished on Sunday morning.
The company that runs the industrial park said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by the catastrophic accident. The agency also said that the remains of several identified victims have been taken to their homes.
Mineral-rich Indonesia is a hub for nickel production. It is used to make electric vehicle batteries and stainless steel.