Pipeline leak leads to fire near Chevron refinery in Papua New Guinea

A pipeline leak at a Chevron refinery has led to a blaze that destroyed three buildings in Papua, Indonesia, and led to the evacuation of more than 2,000 residents.

Police said a fire in the pipeline in the town of Banda Lihan destroyed the refinery building, a residential area and an adjoining business district.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire.

Chevron said the pipeline had a safety check and it was not in use when the leak occurred on Tuesday.

Residents told AP they felt unsafe.

The incident comes amid a growing number of pipeline leaks around the world, particularly in the developing world.

Chevron has been under fire for its handling of safety issues surrounding its gas-burning operations in Papua.

Earlier this month, the company paid $4.7 million in fines and ordered a $1.2 billion recall of hundreds of thousands of gallons of its fuel that spilled into the Pacific Ocean.

Chevron is also being investigated by the US Department of Justice for possible civil rights violations and for a lack of transparency in its response to the spill.

The refinery building that was destroyed is in a town of about 12,000 people about 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of the Indonesian city of Komodo.