JAKARTA – The death toll in a fire at an illegal oil well in Indonesia has risen to 21 after three of the 41 injured died, the authorities said Thursday.
The fire broke out early Wednesday in Pasir Puti village in the northwestern province of Aceh in Sumatra, when several workers were cleaning up an oil spill caused by overproduction.
Five buildings burnt down in the accident and 198 people were evacuated, while experts took more than 24 hours to put out the blaze.
Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement that a mixture of water and oil continues to come out of the well.
The local police confirmed that the oil well was illegal, and has identified the manager of the property during its investigations into the cause of the tragedy.
Illegal oil fields are not uncommon in Aceh province, which is rich in hydrocarbons.