Explosion at PT IMIP
A severe work accident occurred at the PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) in Central Sulawesi on Sunday morning, December 24, 2023. The incident, involving an explosion, took place at a nickel processing factory or smelter owned by PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS), a tenant operating within the IMIP area. According to Dedy Kurniawan, Head of the Media Relations Division of PT IMIP, the explosion happened around 05:30 WITA (Central Indonesian Time) during maintenance work on a furnace.
Casualties and Immediate Response
The explosion tragically resulted in the death of 12 people, with dozens more suffering injuries. The accident occurred while workers were engaged in repairing the furnace and installing plates on it. Rescue and emergency response teams were deployed to the site to assist the injured and contain the situation.
Environmental Group Calls for Action
In response to this incident, the Central Sulawesi Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has called on the government to halt nickel production at PT IMIP. This demand comes in the wake of repeated work-related accidents in the area, with the latest being the fatal explosion at the nickel smelter furnace of PT ITSS. Aulia Hakim, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns for Central Sulawesi Walhi, issued a statement urging the government not to remain passive and to impose strict sanctions on PT IMIP.
This tragic event has raised significant concerns regarding safety standards and regulatory oversight in industrial operations, particularly in high-risk sectors like metal smelting. The incident underscores the urgent need for stringent safety protocols and regular inspections to prevent such accidents in the future. It also highlights the role of government and environmental agencies in ensuring the welfare and safety of workers in industrial complexes.