In early hours of the morning (12 April), residents around Pengerang, Johor were awakened by an explosion and fire at the PETRONAS Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project.
The explosion, which occurred at about 1:25am resulted in two local workers suffering minor injuries. They were both sent for outpatient treatment at the RAPID Pengerang’s medical emergency centre, said the Kota Tinggi Police Superintendent Ahsmon Bajah in a statement.
Five fire engines and 30 personnel from the PETRONAS RAPID Pengerang Emergency Fire and Response Team (ERT) were deployed. They managed to contain the blaze and extinguish the fire almost an hour later at 2:15am, said the superintendent, who praised the ERT for their quick actions to contain the incident.
According to the statement, the police described the incident as a ‘small fire’, but the Malay Mail reported that the blast was loud enough to be heard within a 50km radius of the project. Photos and videos of the incident has since been circulating social media. According to the videos going around, many are suggesting that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.
However, Superintendent Ahsmon said the police, together with the Johor Safety, Security and, Environment Committee, the state disaster management committee, and security management at PETRONAS RAPID Pengerang will be investigating the reason behind the incident. An official cause of the explosion is yet to be determined or announced.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page this morning, PETRONAS confirmed the incident at its facility, saying that the fire was contained within 30 minutes. They added, “The situation is under control and all relevant authorities have been informed”.
PETRONAS added that additional information will be provided in due course once the investigations are concluded.