At least 7 houses destroyed after boulders from near blasting site fell on Indonesian village

A house in a West Java village destroyed after several huge boulders rolled down a cliff near a rock blasting site on October 8, 2019. Photo: Facebook
A house in a West Java village destroyed after several huge boulders rolled down a cliff near a rock blasting site on October 8, 2019. Photo: Facebook

Boulders literally rained on an Indonesian village in the province of West Java on Tuesday, in an incident that saw several buildings destroyed and, miraculously, zero casualties. 

According to reports, on Tuesday afternoon, eight huge boulders — which measured several meters in diameter — and many smaller ones rolled down from a cliff in Sukamulya village in Purwakarta regency. At the time, a mining company called PT MSS were carrying out controlled explosions at a nearby quarry to excavate stones.

The boulders fell on and caused extensive damage to at least seven houses and one school, with one house in particular reportedly completely destroyed.

Luckily, not one person was hurt as the buildings that were damaged were empty at the time.

Local police say they have investigated three PT MSS officials and hinted that they may be charged for negligence. Meanwhile, Sukamulya village officials are demanding damage compensation from the miners, the amount of which has not yet been disclosed.

“I have to sort this out (compensation) quickly. We have to assume responsibility, especially for the houses that were destroyed,” PT MSS Technical Director Bambang Yukada told Republika yesterday.

However, Bambang said that PT MSS had observed all safety regulations when carrying out the rock blasting, and that what happened was beyond their prediction and control.

“The site we blasted was not the same cliff [from which the boulders fell from] … but explosions caused the ground to shake, and it might be that the boulders were loose because this summer is dry,” he said.

There have been calls by local officials for PT MSS to cease mining operations at the site in light of the incident, but the company warned that a majority of residents in the village are under their employment.

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