(File pix) Residents of Kota Tinggi were abruptly awoken and startled by strong tremors caused by a massive explosion at Petronas’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC), early today. Pix from social media

JOHOR BARU: Residents of Kota Tinggi were abruptly awoken and startled by strong tremors caused by a massive explosion at Petronas’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) at the Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) near here, early today.

According to Bernama, many nearby residents were startled from sleep and felt “powerful vibrations” during the explosion, and watched in horror as a large fire rose into the night sky.

House and car alarms were also triggered by the 1.30am blast.

Taman Ramunia Indah resident Mohd Azizi Mahmun, 24, said he was awoken by the sound of a “strong kick” to the door of his house.

“I was asleep during the incident, and woke up due to the strong vibration.

“(The blast) also set off the alarms of cars in the area.

“My neighbours and I then went outside and saw smoke and fire (rising from) the PIC area,” said Mohd Azizi, who is site coordinator for a company at the complex.

He added that he could also smell gas following the explosion – but after the initial panic, residents began to breathe easy.

“Now, I think the situation is under control, because there has been no instruction for (residents) to relocate,” he added.

Another witness, Muslim Mustafa, 30, said he also felt strong tremors due to the explosion.

“I was asleep when I heard a loud explosion. The noise caused my door to shake and all the neighbours went out to see what had happened.

“Shortly after, I saw an ambulance and fire truck rushing to the scene,” said Muslim, who works as a material controller at the project site.

Several video clips and images of the incident have since gone viral on social media, with one also shared by the Tunku Mahkota Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.