JAKARTA, Indonesia – The death toll from a fire at an unregulated oil well in Indonesia’s Aceh province has risen to 21 following the deaths of three more victims.
The head of the Aceh Disaster Mitigation Agency, Teuku Ahmad Dadek, said Thursday that 38 people are still being treated at three hospitals. Many had severe burns.
The newly drilled oil well in Pasir Putih village in eastern Aceh district exploded into flames early Wednesday. Five nearby houses were engulfed. Many of the victims had been collecting oil from the gushing well.
Aceh, at the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, has significant commercially untapped natural gas reserves and is dotted with illegal wells.