01/19/2009, 00.00
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Jakarta: fire devastates fuel depot in Plumpang, cause remains unknown

by Mathias Hariyadi
This morning firefighters finally put out the blaze at a Pertamina fuel depot, north of Jakarta. Losses are around US$ 1.4 million. Government sends an investigative team to find out what happened. Terrorists had already targeted the fuel depot in the past.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A joint investigative team comprised of members from the police force and giant state-owned oil company Pertamina was dispatched to Plumpang Premium fuel depot north of Jakarta to determine whether foul play was involved in the devastating fire on Sunday. Fire fighters extinguished the blaze only today.

“The team of investigators has started processing the scene," Pertamina Corporate Communication Vice President Anang Rizkani Noor said.

Preliminary estimates put damages at some 15 billion Indonesian rupiah (about US$ 1.4 million), but the company is still evaluating total losses.

“We're awaiting results from investigators,” Anang said, who added that fire fighters managed to extinguish the blaze after 1,500 to 2,000 kiloliters of fuel burned.

Despite the temporary closure of the Plumpang depot, Anang assured residents there was sufficient fuel supply for the city and greater Jakarta.

Other Pertamina depots in Cikampek, Padalarang and Merak have already been tasked to supply the city.

“The stock is safe. Plumpang still has a supply of 60,000 kiloliters left,” Anang said.

The Plumpang fuel depot had already been targeted by terrorists in the past.

Terrorists had also promised to blow up fuel depots located near the place where Bali attackers were executed last November.

Jakarta police have been deployed near the place of the explosions.

In the meantime police authorities have not excluded any possible lead, including terrorism.

“This is a big case to investigate,” chief police detective General Susno Duaji said, but he warned against drawing any quick conclusion. “Nothing can be concluded before we examine all the evidence on the crime scene,” he insisted.

Indonesian security forces have increased security to protect other fuel depots, including Cirebon in West Java, Cilacap in Central Java and in Bali.

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