Indonesia declares state of emergency as oil spill spreads
Indonesia has declared a state of emergency to help stop the spreading of a deadly oil spill off the coast of the island of Borneo.
Indonesia declares state of emergency as oil spill spreads https://t.co/QcHrXY4HAb— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) 3 april 2018
At least four fishermen in the port city of Balikpapan were killed over the weekend when the fuel ignited.
Hundreds of people have reported health issues since Saturday's spill.
As the oil slick continues to spread, the risk of further fires is increasing, Indonesian authorities said on Tuesday.
The Balikpapan environmental agency has warned members of the local community to avoid any activities "that could spark fires".
The spill, which threatens to further contaminate the fishing waters along the coast, currently covers an area of 12 sq km (seven sq miles).
In addition to the four reported deaths, local health officials have said that hundreds of people in the area have experienced difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting since the oil fires broke out.
Issuing a state of emergency allows for the release of government funds to aid local authorities in their efforts to contain the spill and for any subsequent clean-up operations.
Balikpapan, which is in East Kalimantan province, is home to a large oil refinery belonging to the state-owned company Pertamina.
Fishermen in Balikpapan say they will take part in a protest on Wednesday to hold the Indonesian government and Pertamina to account for the spill.
Pertamina has denied responsibility for the disaster.
A huge pillar of thick, dark smoke is seen rising from the sea off Borneo island. The massive blaze is responsible for at least two deaths, according to local media. https://t.co/WamN4EMNWL pic.twitter.com/bnrCu1rtaF— ABC News (@ABC) 31 maart 2018