S'wak Bomba investigators to probe explosion site along Sarawak-Sabah interstate gas-pipeline

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020

MIRI: The Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department has sent three investigators to probe the explosion at a section of the RM4bil Sarawak-Sabah gas pipeline in the remote jungles of Baram district.

The three investigators are already at the site with technicians from Petronas - the oil giant that owns the project.

Miri Fire and Rescue Department chief Supt Law Poh Kiong said the site is very remote.

"There is no telephone coverage there, as it is very far away," he said in his latest updates in Sarawak Bomba.

Petronas, in its media statement, said it had sent its own investigation team.

"We are probing the cause of the incident.

"No one was injured. We assure the communities that their safety is of utmost priority to us," it said.

The 2am pre-dawn incident on Monday (Jan 13) happened not far from Long Selulong and Long Kawa - two Penan settlements located about eight hours by timber road from Miri city.

Telang Usan state assemblyman Dennis Ngau said the incident site was at a mountainous terrain.

He said local natives could hear the explosion and see a huge fireball lighting up the sky.

This latest case is the fourth such incident along the Sarawak side of the transboundary pipeline.

On May 8 last year, a fire occurred at the gas-pipeline near the remote Long Segemang village in Lawas district in northernmost Sarawak.

That fire did not result in any explosion or injuries to anyone.

Long Lawa and Long Segemang are among the many villages where the gas-pipeline snakes through from its starting point in Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in northern Sarawak.

On Jan 10,2018, there was also an explosion along the section of the giant pipeline near the Long Luping settlement located adjacent the Sarawak-Sabah border.

After Long Luping, there are populated settlements of Long Semadoh and Long Sukang and then the Lawas hinterland where the pipes connect to the Baram side then towards Miri and Bintulu.

The pipeline is to channel gas from Kimanis in interior Sabah to Bintulu port in northern Sarawak for processing and export.

The entire length of the pipeline snaking through the rural frontiers is 600km long.

The first explosion and fire was on June 11,2014, in the hills of Lawas district, when a leak happened at a section of the pipeline.

No one was injured in that 2014 explosion either.

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