Possible negligence led to deadly smelter fire: Indonesia

The Indonesian government said there was a strong indication of a standard procedure violation and negligence in the implementation of safety requirements that allegedly led to a deadly fire at a nickel smelter in December, reported Reuters.

The fire broke out on 24 December at a smelter furnace operated by Tsingshan Stainless Steel Indonesia, a unit of China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, in the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park on Sulawesi island. Twenty-one workers died and dozens were injured. 

Central Sulawesi police are currently investigating the cause of the accident.

Reuters said Indonesia has banned exports of unprocessed nickel ore as it moves to boost domestic smelting and processing, but the sector has suffered several fatal accidents in recent years.

Senior cabinet minister overseeing the mining industry, Luhut Pandjaitan, called for law enforcement to take firm action to avoid similar incidents. “We have to show that we do need investment, but they have to comply with regulations in our country. They cannot ignore the rules.”

Source: Reuters

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