April 25 (UPI) — An oil well caught fire Wednesday near Pasir Putih village in Indonesia’s Aceh province, killing at least 11 people and injuring nearly 50 others.
The fire is believed to have started when residents tried to retrieve oil and gas from a well drilled on private land around 1:30 a.m. local time.
“There were more than ten people looking for crude oil,” the Aceh Provincial Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency, said they have reason to believe the blaze was “triggered by sparks from a welding pipe.”
However, the cause of the fire is still unclear.
Forty-six people were taken to three separate hospitals to be treated for their injuries.
“We have evacuated 11 bodies but search and rescue operations are hampered by the fire, which has yet to be extinguished,” the agency said.
Sutopo said the state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina and disaster mitigation agency would help put out the fire.