The Bali Post reports that diving guides swimming in the waters near the Pertamina fuel depot at Manggis, Karangasem, recently discovered a live unexploded grenade.
The ordnance was quickly isolated and landed by marine police officials who continue to investigate the incident. Preliminary suspicions by the police, however, suggest the grenade may have accidentally fallen into the water following careless handling by a security detachment on past assignment near the area.
The sector chief of police for Manggis told the press that in the wake of the discovery of the grenade security vigilance would be heightened at the port in coordination with the State Oil Company Pertamina, who operate the depot.
The fuel discharge port is the sole transit point for the island's critical fuel supplies.
When the grenade was discovered by to diving guides, Nikodemus Sumbage (26) and IGN Wijaya (30), they were leading a German tourist through local waters at a depth of 15 meters in an area directly in from of the Pertamina depot. Adding to official's concerns are reports that the grenade was discovered in waters less than 2 meters from where a ship was in the process of actively discharging fuel at the depot.
The discovery has served to underline the poor security measures in place at the sole landing point for Bali's fuel supply. Police officials are questioning how a grenade could be in such close proximity to the depot and remain undetected for an extended period of time. Moreover, the fact that recreational divers are permitted to recreate in areas so close to docked ships discharging fuel only underlines further the need for tighter security at the port.
Those who examined the grenade said they believed the weapon had been in the water near the depot for an extended period.
The Chairman of the Regional Parliament for Karangasem, I Wayan Sukadana, told the press that he was extremely disappointed with the entire incident. He said that the fact that a grenade was found in the area is already extremely dangerous and shows that security in the area is not good. What's more, complained the legislator, that the general public is allowed to scuba dive near the spot is incomprehensible. Emphasizing his distress even further, Sukadana said: "This is a vital installation that must be made sterile from the general public. In the future, the security in such installations must be made a top priority."
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