Police grill 9 witnesses over N Sumatra gas leak

Police grill 9 witnesses over N Sumatra gas leak

The bodies of victims of the gas pipe leak in Mandailing Natal district, North Sumatra, (ANTARA/Holik)

The number of witnesses questioned increased to nine.
Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - Police have so far questioned nine witnesses in connection with the leakage of a gas pipeline belonging to a geothermal power plant in Mandailing Natal district, North Sumatra province, which claimed five lives early this week.

“The number of witnesses questioned increased to nine,” chief of the public information sub-directorate at the North Sumatra provincial police, Adjunct Senior Commissioner MP Nainggolan, said on Thursday.

The nine witnesses comprise two police officers, three local residents, and four employees of PT Sorik Marapi Geothermal Power (SMGP), which owns the gas pipeline.

"The investigation is still going on," Nainggolan said.

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Five people lost their lives and 24 others lost consciousness on Monday due to the gas leak, which occurred when a PT SMGP worker, identified by his initials as DD, opened a valve to allow geothermal fluids to flow into a pipe.

DD had first opened a master valve to let the geothermal fluid into an S-bend pipe and then a valve isolation tap to channel the fluid into the silencer, Nainggolan informed.

When he opened the geothermal isolation tap, the pipe released toxic gas, he said. (INE)

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