Coal Mine in West Sumatra's Sawahlunto Explodes, Kills 10

10 December 2022 00:17 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaA coal mine owned by PT Nusa Alam Lestari (NAL) in Sawahlunto, West Sumatra exploded on Friday morning, December 9, 2022, killing 10 people.

Head of the Public Relations Division at the National Police Inspector General Dedi Prasetyo said the last victim was successfully evacuated at 18:00 western Indonesian time (WIB). The victim, who was already dead, was immediately taken to the Sawahlunto General Hospital for identification.

“The Regional Police Chief informed that all victims have been evacuated. All victims are currently in the identification process,” said Dedi on Friday, December 9, 2022.

The explosion occurred at 08:30 WIB when the workers had just started mining activities. PT NAL's Head of Mining Engineering (KTT) Dian Firdaus noticed that the pit emitted a puff of smoke accompanied by small explosions. Six people were reportedly trapped in the hole at a depth of 200 meters.

Padang Octavianto, Head of the Operations Unit at the National SAR Agency (Basarnas), said the accident area was filled with dangerous methane gas and also rubbles. This condition hampered the SAR team to conduct evacuation, so a blower was mobilized to expel methane gas and other harmful gases.

“The joint team worked hard to evacuate the victims considering the location was quite difficult to take many people,” said Padang.

Dedi further confirmed that 14 people were affected in the Sawahlunto coal mine explosion incident. 10 of them died, one suffered 30 percent burns, one suffered mild injuries, and two others survived.

EKA YUDHA SAPUTRA

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