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shell borneo explosiom injures 12

  Posted at 10:03 p.m. PST Thursday, December 25, 1997
  Shell shuts Malaysia plant after explosion
  KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 (Reuters) - A Malaysian unit of Royal Dutch
  Shell said on Friday it had shut down a plant on Borneo island after an
  explosion injured 12 people and set tanks on fire.
  The explosion occurred at about 10:50 p.m. (1450 GMT) on Thursday at
  Shell MDS Malaysia Sdn Bhd's 400,000-tonne middle distillate synthesis
  plant in Bintulu town in Sarawak state.
  `The plant has been shut down for safety and security reasons as well as
  for damage control and assessment,'' Shell Companies of Malaysia said in
  a statement on Friday.
  A Shell spokeswoman in the capital Kuala Lumpur said the plant converted
  natural gas into liquid hydrocarbons.
  Two tanks were still burning at around 1:00 p.m. (0500 GMT) on Friday.
  ``Two tanks are on fire,'' a Shell spokesman in Bintulu told Reuters by
  telephone. ``We are still trying to contain the fire.''
  Investigations had been launched to establish the cause of the fire, the
  company statement said.
  Four Shell employees were injured and a local hospital reported eight
  members of the public were treated for injuries, Shell said.
  The spokesman said two of those injured were in stable condition in
  hospital. ``The rest have been released,'' he said.
  The plant is a joint venture between Shell Gas BV, Petroliam Nasional Bhd
  (Petronas), Mitsubishi and the Sarawak state government. REUTERS