Video: Deadly Blazing Oil Slick Engulfs Island, Threatening Lives of Hundreds

Authorities on the Indonesian island of Borneo has declared a state of emergence after a deadly oil slick engulfed the island.

The spill, which has reached an area of seven square miles, killed four fishermen—with one still missing—when it ignited on Saturday.

The port city of Balikpapan, home to around 700,000 people, has been engulfed in toxic smoke. The slick has reportedly caused the residents of the North Penajam Paser subdistrict to suffer from nausea, vomiting and respiratory problems, reported local news.

Borneo Indonesia has declared a state of emergency after a burn oil slick killed four people over the weekend. Youtube/Screenshot

“We’re in a state of emergency because of the oil spill’s impact,” MN Fadli, Balikpapan’s city secretary, said at a meeting in the town's city hall on Monday. “I may sound like I’m exaggerating, but the state of the bay is like that of a gas station.”

Environmental campaigners have criticized the government for doing little to help the situation. Greenpeace told CNN it hadn’t received any information from authorities, who have declared a state of emergency.

"The government is so late to mitigate the impact of this incident," Arifsyah Nasution, a Greenpeace spokesperson, said. "It's already the fifth day... the handling of the oil spill is slow, which could be [due to a lack of] equipment resources."

Nasution claims the damage caused by the spill is “massive.” Besides inflicting health problems onto residents, the spill has also impacted marine life and seabirds.

The cause of the spill remains unclear, but it is believed to be caused by a bulk coal carrier travelling from Indonesia to Malaysia. Authorities have also take samples from Pertamina, a government-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. The company denies any involvement in the spill.

Rasio Ridho Sani, the director general of the Indonesia Environment and Forestry Ministry, said a team has been dispatched to control and clean the oil slick.

“Our team in the field is investigating it thoroughly. We will soon find out how big the impact is on the environment and who will be held responsible,” he said.