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“Strong Indication” Safety Violation Led to Massive Fire at Chinese-Owned Nickel Factory, Says Indonesia

Guntur (pseudonym), 32, a victim of nickel smelter furnace explosion in nickel industrial processing complex Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park, undergoes his severe burn treatment in a local hospital in Morowali, Central Sulawesi on January 5, 2024. Photo by Mas Agung Wilis Yudha Baskoro.

Indonesian authorities suggested that safety violations and negligence may be responsible for a fire at a Chinese-owned nickel smelter last month that killed 21 workers.

The massive blaze erupted at a furnace in a smelter operated by Tsingshan Stainless Steel Indonesia, a subsidiary of the Chinese mining conglomerate Tsingshan Group Holdings, at Indonesia’s largest mining hub in the Morowali Industrial Park.

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