Jakarta. Firefighters have been trying to rescue priceless collections, including those donated by other countries, from Jakarta’s Maritime Museum that was engulfed in flames on Tuesday (16/01).
According to Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Argo Yuwono, witnesses say a short circuit was responsible for the electrical fire that destroyed 60 percent of the museum complex.
Police have already deployed a forensic team to the museum and helped to rescue its collections, Argo said on Tuesday.
Arif Oegroseno, a deputy minister from the Maritime Affairs Coordinating Ministry, said the government deeply regrets the incident and urged authorities to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the exact cause of the fire.
The museum, housed in a former Dutch colonial-era warehouse, also keeps collections donated by the governments of the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
These collections were kept in its Battle of the Java Sea room, which was destroyed by the fire.
The head of the museum, Husnison Nizar, confirmed that the room was badly damaged by the fire.
"[The fire affected] the first floor of the museum that keeps traditional wooden boats, the Battle of the Java Sea room that included collections donated by the US, the UK, Australian and Dutch embassies, ... and the ground floor of building A that held our naval collections," Husnison said.
The Maritime Museum, or Museum Bahari, occupies three of four store houses that were built by the Dutch between the 17th and 18th centuries.
The police said many of the collections suffered extensive water damage during the rescue operations.
Additional reporting by BeritaSatu.com