Home > News > Nation
Wednesday June 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday June 11, 2014 MYT 7:36:03 AM
by stephen then
Heatwave: The Petronas gas pipeline in Lawas on fire after the explosion early yesterday morning. Villagers in nearby settlements could feel the heat from the massive fire.
MIRI: A fiery blast ripped apart a section of the Sabah-Sarawak interstate gas pipeline located in between Lawas town and Long Sukang in the northernmost district of Sarawak, resulting in the temporary shutdown of the RM4bil project owned by national oil giant Petronas.
The explosion at about 2am shattered the early morning silence and many residents around the blast area jumped out of bed in shock to see the fire just kilometres away.
Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum said villagers at nearby settlements felt the impact of the heatwave and had been advised to evacuate to safer areas temporarily.
“Luckily, no lives were lost in the incident,” he said when contacted from Parliament in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Sum said that a full-scale investigation had begun in Lawas, as well as in Kuala Lumpur, because the project belonged to Petronas.
He said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was concerned with what had happened and wanted a full-scale probe.
“Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi also wants to know what was the exact cause,” Sum said.
According to Petronas’ Sarawak regional office, the fire had been extinguished.
“The incident has not affected any of the communities along the pipeline, the closest of which are located 9km from the area,” it said in a statement.
Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department director Nor Hisham Mohamad said the project developer and his department had formed a joint committee to probe the incident.
He said the pipeline had a safety shut-off system to prevent the fire from spreading in the event of such an incident.
The affected pipeline is about 400km from Miri. Long Sukang is a hilly settlement along the rural road into the Ba’kelalan highlands.
The pipeline, which was completed early this year, is meant to channel raw gas from Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak. It passes through Lawas and Ulu Baram before entering Miri and onwards to Bintulu.
The raw gas ends up at a processing plant in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) belt before being converted into liquified natural gas for export.
To a question on how the fire could have occurred since the pipeline was supposed to be buried underground, Sum said that question could only be answered by Petronas.
“The pipeline is a long one. Obviously, there must be some serious faults to have ignited such a huge fire,” he said.
It is learnt that some parts of the pipeline are not buried underground but run along the ground surface, such as the case along the section between Miri and Bintulu.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party secretary-general and chairman for Lawas division Datuk Nelson Balang Rining said he had been inundated with calls from the people in Lawas.
“The incident is serious. Initial feedbacks from people there said that they heard the pipeline had exploded,” he said.
Terminal still in operation
Tags / Keywords:
Courts Crime, fiery petronas
Court orders Dong Zong to hold 'peace talks' to settle internal differences
NRD director ordered to issue death certificate for Sosilawati
Hadi applies to strike out suit preventing tabling of hudud bill
22 revellers arrested in raid at villa
Man who allegedly operated Papagomo Original page rearrested
Pupils of fire-hit kindergarten move out
Fisherman makes right call
Restaurant robbed after extending its hours
Don’t charge Sarawak rally organisers, Masing urges A-G
35kg of heroin seized
Caring act to aid Chinese schools
Paying homage to St Anne
U.S. drops Boston's embattled bid to host 2024 Olympic Games
Online symptom-checkers are often wrong
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)