The fire, which started about 8 p.m. (01:00 GMT) on Friday from a fuel pipe at Pertamina’s Plumpang fuel storage depot in Jakarta’s capital, swiftly spread to surrounding houses, causing alarm among inhabitants in the highly populated neighborhood.
Sixty individuals were injured, many of whom were seriously burned, and hundreds more had to be evacuated from residential areas near the depot.
According to the North Jakarta Red Cross, 342 individuals were evacuated and four tents were set up for the displaced.
Three people were still missing after the blaze, with Indonesian officials the next day calling for an audit of “all fuel facilities and infrastructures” in the country.
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin visited the scene on Saturday and confirmed 17 people were killed and 60 more injured.
He suggested the depot should be moved away from residential neighbourhoods.
“I hope this depot can be relocated so it will be safer and this area will be rearranged so it meets the requirements of a proper neighbourhood in the capital,” he told reporters.
Footage broadcast on Friday night showed people screaming and fleeing through narrow roads with an inferno lighting up the sky behind them.
A fireball could be seen across the skyline of north Jakarta with sirens wailing in the background.
National Police chief Listyo Sigit, speaking at the site, said at least three people were still missing.
Top officials have called for a probe into the fire’s cause and an audit of the country’s energy facilities after several recent blazes.