4 killed, one missing in Pengerang fire

Flames from the explosion at the Pengerang Integrated Complex near Kota Tinggi last night. (Facebook pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Four people were killed in a fire at the diesel hydrotreater unit at the Pengerang Integrated Complex near Kota Tinggi last night while another remains missing.

State Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Pauzan Ahmad said one person was safe while another sustained 70% burns in the fire which occurred at about 10.50pm.

“Seven victims were involved. One victim who managed to escape is known as Mohd Saiful Amat, while another who was hurt was Arnado Alexander,” he said in a statement today.

The dead and missing victims are Fadhi Akmal Fadzil, Azarul Ashraf Nor Akmal, Norfazly Md Nor, Che Huzaidy Che Harun and Hadi Syafiq Jamil.

As of 11.15am, the operations involved 33 members of the Fire Department and nine trucks, aided by 37 members of the Pengerang Central Emergency & Fire Services and eight trucks.

Pauzan said the Johor operations centre had received an emergency call about the fire at the diesel hydrotreater unit at 11.18pm.

“Upon arriving at the location, the team found that an explosion and fire had occurred at the plant diesel hydrotreater unit which uses hydrogen to remove sulphur waste from raw diesel,” he said, adding that the search-and-rescue operation is being conducted by a team of 12.

He said efforts are ongoing to extinguish the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.

Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem) said earlier today that an emergency response team had been activated and was working closely with the relevant authorities.

“The situation is under control. Our utmost priority and concern is the safety of the people and environment at the moment,” it said in a statement.

PRefChem is a strategic alliance of two of the world’s largest national oil companies: Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia, and Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia.