Investigations are under way after three contract workers were found dead, potentially poisoned, on Pertamina’s Rokan producing asset onshore Sumatra, Indonesia.

The three who lost their lives worked for local environmental waste management service company Prasadha Pamunah Limbah Industri (PPLI) and were named by local media as Ade Ilham (aged 37), Dedi Krismanto (44) and Hendri (54).

“Because the incident occurred during recess [when] there should be no schedule of activities in the incident area, we are currently exploring the background that caused the victims to come to the scene so that the incident occurred,” PPLI said in a statement.

Even so, the waste area where the workers died should not have been toxic as the waste had already been processed, reported the Liputan6 news portal.

PPLI added that it was an unprecedented event for the company which, in almost 30 years in Indonesia, has several times been awarded the Zero Accident title from the Ministry of Manpower.

“We are very committed to preventing the risk of work accidents. Therefore, the incident that occurred in Balam is a blow not only to the victims’ families but also to our company.

“This investigation is important to us, so that it can become an evaluation and improvement [tool] if there are errors that arise in procedures or lack of caution in work activities,” said the contractor.

Separate investigations into the fatal tragedy that occurred on 24 February are also being undertaken by the operator Pertamina Hulu Rokan, upstream regulator SKK Migas, the police and the Riau provincial Manpower Office, according to local media.

Upstream has approached Pertamina for comment and will update the article if the national oil company responds.

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