At least 13 dead, 38 injured in nickel smelter blast in Indonesia
At least 13 workers were killed and 38 others injured in an explosion at a nickel smelter in Indonesia on Sunday, according to officials.
The blast occurred at a smelter in the Morowali Industrial Park on the island of Sulawesi at around 5:30 a.m. local time, the park said in a statement. The fire that followed the blast lasted for about three and a half hours.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but officials said it may have been caused by a gas leak.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and extend our condolences to the families of the victims,” the park said in a statement. “We are working with authorities to investigate the cause of the explosion and ensure that the safety of our workers is always a top priority.”
The smelter is owned by PT Vale Indonesia, a mining and smelting company. The company said it is providing assistance to the victims and their families.
“We are working closely with local authorities to investigate the cause of the explosion and to ensure the safety of our workers,” PT Vale Indonesia said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and extend our condolences to the families of the victims.”
The explosion is a major setback for Indonesia’s nickel industry. Nickel is a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, and Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel.