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Don’t politicise Pengerang blast - Johor exco

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Johor executive council member Dr Sharuddin Jamal has urged parties to refrain from politicising this morning’s blast at a Petronas plant in Pengerang.

The Bukit Kepong assemblyperson said he had visited the scene earlier today and was briefed on the incident by the police, the Fire and Rescue Department and Petronas staff.

“I hope no one will spread lies or politicise the incident.

“Necessary steps have already been taken by the authorities and I am sure that any implications to the environment and to health will be dealt with,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page.

Sharuddin, who oversees the health, environment and agriculture portfolio, assured that the state government will assist residents whose houses were damaged by the blast and the subsequent fire.

An explosion and a fire broke out at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) at about 1.25am this morning. Police confirmed that the fire was put out by 2.15am.

Residents living 1km away in Kampung Lepau told state newswire Bernama that more than 10 houses experienced collapsed roofs, cracked walls and shattered glass as a result of the incident.

More than 10 police reports have apparently been lodged.

'Situation under control'

In a separate statement, Petronas said it had yet to determine the cause of the blast but confirmed that it had occurred at the “atmospheric residue desulphurisation unit” of its Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC).

The unit, which is used to convert heavy petroleum oil to cleaner and environmentally-friendly transportation fuel, was currently under the commissioning stage, it said.

“No fatality was recorded.

“One personnel sustained scratches and has already been discharged after receiving medical treatment,” Petronas said.

This appears to contradict a statement by Kota Tinggi district police chief Ashmon Bajah, who had said that two Malaysians were injured during the incident.

Petronas assured that it was working closely with the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of the incident.

“We wish to assure members of the public that the situation is under control and there is no health-related risk from this incident,” it said. 

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