Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has pressed for strengthening audits and investigations on smelter facilities in the mining industry as a preventive measure against incidents such as fires and smelter furnace explosions.

He said that the most vulnerable area in a smelter is the one that requires heat and melting.

"Audit and checking in smelter facilities must be strengthened, double-check or even triple-check in order to avoid accidents," he remarked at the 2023 National Consolidation Meeting for the 2024 Election Preparation in Jakarta on Saturday.

Jokowi noted that police are currently investigating the fire and explosion at the nickel smelter in Morowali, Central Sulawesi.

He also called on reporters to get updates on developments in the case from National Police Chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo.

He stated that operating a smelter facility poses significant challenges owing to the large equipment at the facility and the high heat.

"This is not the first time a fire accident has occurred at a smelter facility. Therefore, we must prioritize the construction and the safety element," Jokowi emphasized.

Earlier, a smelter facility at PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) in the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) area, Morowali, Central Sulawesi, experienced an explosion on December 24, leading to some casualties.

In another incident on Thursday, December 28, the smelter facility of PT Gunbuster Nickel Industri (GNI) in Morowali also caught fire that was successfully extinguished without resulting in any casualties.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, had urged the Central Sulawesi Police chief to complete the investigation within two weeks and called on the national police to take strict action against any violations of the prevailing law.

Based on the investigation, there were indications of violations of the standard operating procedure (SOP) that resulted in casualties.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu/Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Anton Santoso
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