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Village threatened by nearby refinery fire


Fire and smoke: Water being sprayed onto burning tanks of fuel at the Kemaman Bitumen Company in the Teluk Kalong industrial area. — Bernama

Fire and smoke: Water being sprayed onto burning tanks of fuel at the Kemaman Bitumen Company in the Teluk Kalong industrial area. — Bernama

KEMAMAN: Evacuation plans are in place for a village with about 2,000 residents living close to burning tanks at a refinery should the air quality drop to dangerous levels.

Terengganu police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Aidi Ismail, however, assured that the air quality index at the site in Teluk Kalong was not at a risky level.

“We are tracking the air quality index every four hours, and will do so for about a week.

“We will also be getting advice from the state environment department and will execute evacuation plans if necessary,” he said when met at the scene.

DCP Aidi said villagers from nearby Kampung Bukit Kuang, Kampung Teluk Kalong and Kampung Kijal could be temporarily moved to evacuation centres if the air quality worsened.

The police have also warned the public to stay away from the operations area.

The fire at the refinery broke out at about 6.15pm on Thursday in one of the six tanks before spreading to an adjacent tank.

A minor fire also broke out at a third tank in the area but was immediately controlled. A worker was injured in the blaze.

State Fire and Rescue Department director Azlimin Mat Noor said a task force would be set up to investigate the cause of the fire.

“Based on our SOP, the report should be ready in three weeks,” he said, adding that consultants and designers of the oil refinery tanks would be called in.

A statement issued by the company, Kemaman Bitumen Company Sdn Bhd, said oil inside the affected tanks was being allowed to burn out and this was why flames were still seen at the site.

“It is not expected to pose any threat to nearby businesses and homes. A thorough investigation will be carried out once the situation is completely under control,” the company said.

Mentri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar visited the scene and advised residents living in the adjacent areas to monitor their families’ health and seek immediate treatment at health centres if they experienced breathing problems.

Over 140 fire and rescue personnel from Terengganu and Pahang worked to control the fire.

Fire

   

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