JOHOR BAHRU, 12 April 2019:
The fire and explosion incident at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC), in Kota Tinggi, earlier today, was believed to have caused strong blast vibrations in surrounding areas, according to several witnesses.
Two locals have been confirmed injured in a fire incident at one of the lots of Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project site in Pengerang, near Kota Tinggi.
Kota Tinggi police chief Supt Ahsmon Bajah, who confirmed the matter, said the incident occurred at about 1.20am.
He said an Emergency Response Team (ERT) with 30 personnel from the Pengerang RAPID Fire and Rescue Department were deployed after receiving a report on the incident.
“The fire was brought under control and extinguished by 2.15am.
“The two victims, who worked as security guards, received outpatient treatment at the Pengerang RAPID Medical Emergency Centre,” he said in a statement here, adding that investigations were still underway to determine the cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, checks outside the complex at 6am today found the plant was operating as usual with buses carrying workers as well as lorries heading in and out of the premises.
There were also no traces of smoke visible as at 6.30am.
Mohd Azizi Mahmun, 24, who lives in Taman Ramunia Indah, near the scene said he felt as though there was a strong ‘kick’ on the door of his house when the incident occurred.
“I was asleep during the incident, and woke up due to the strong vibration.
“It also set off the alarm on the cars in the area. My neighbours and I then came out (of our houses) and saw smoke and fire in the area,” said Mohd Azizi, who is the site coordinator for a company at the complex.
Mohd Azizi said he could also smell gas from the explosion.
“People could see the incident as it (the structure which exploded) was near the road.
“But now I think the situation is under control because there have been no instructions for us (residents) to relocate. I will also be heading to the site to look at the situation.”
Another witness, Muslim Mustafa, 30, said he also felt strong vibrations due to the incident which occurred at about 1.30am.
“I was asleep when I heard a loud explosion. The noise caused my door to shake and all the neighbours came out to see what had happened.
“Shortly thereafter, I saw an ambulance and fire truck going to the scene,” said Muslim who works as a material controller at the project site.
Several photos and video clips of the incident have since gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, with one also shared by the Tunku Mahkota Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
The fire occurred at the Atmospheric Residue Desulphurisation (ARDS) Unit which is currently under the commissioning stage and Petronas said the incident however did not cause any fatality.
“One personnel sustained scratches and has already been discharged upon receiving medical consultation.
“Teams have been set up and are currently working closely with the relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the incident,” Petronas said in a statement today.
“We wish to assure members of the public that the situation is under control and there is no health related risk to this incident.”