Almost 50 dead after huge explosion at fireworks factory in Indonesia

Almost 50 dead after huge explosion at fireworks factory in Indonesia

An explosion and blaze at a fireworks factory near the Indonesian capital has killed at least 47 people, most of them female workers, and injured dozens more, police said.

Witnesses said a huge explosion was heard from the factory and then smaller blasts echoed across the neighbourhood as orange flames jumped from the building and a column of black smoke billowed from it.

Hary Kurniawan, chief of police in the Jakarta satellite city of Tangerang, said all the bodies recovered so far were found in the remains of the factory and a search of the building is continuing.

The death toll could rise as many of those who escaped suffered extensive burns, said Nico Afinta, general crimes director at Jakarta police. He said the factory had more than 100 employees.

"The fire began with a strong explosion like a bomb," Benny, a Tangerang resident who goes by one name, told MetroTV.

He said he saw police and residents smash through a factory wall to help workers out. Some of the victims were burning as they ran out, he said.

A worker who escaped the fire said the factory staff were mostly women employed on a casual basis.

Mumum, who goes by one name, told Indonesia's TVOne she started working at the factory a few weeks ago and was paid 40,000 rupiah (€2.46) a day.

"I lost so many friends. I couldn't help. Everybody just ran for safety," she said, weeping.

Almost 50 dead after huge explosion at fireworks factory in Indonesia

The factory is next to a residential area in Tangerang, a city in Banten province on the western outskirts of Jakarta. A police report said the fire spread after an explosion and that the factory's roof had collapsed.

Mr Kurniawan said more than 40 injured people were being treated at three hospitals.

The factory had been operating for less than two months, he added.

"We are still investigating the cause of the fire and questioning witnesses," Mr Kurniawan told reporters. "Factory owners or anyone who neglects and violates safety rules should be held legally responsible."

MetroTV, quoting a local official, said that although the factory had a permit, its proximity to a residential area was against regulations.

AP


More in this Section

Johnny Depp denies slapping ex-wife over ‘Wino Forever’ tattooJohnny Depp denies slapping ex-wife over ‘Wino Forever’ tattoo

UK-EU negotiations will continue ‘in good faith’ to reach ‘fair’ deal says Michel BarnierUK-EU negotiations will continue ‘in good faith’ to reach ‘fair’ deal says Michel Barnier

WHO boss pulls out of UK event after US withdrawal announcedWHO boss pulls out of UK event after US withdrawal announced

Hong Kong sees opening of Beijing national security officeHong Kong sees opening of Beijing national security office


Lifestyle

Dónal Clancy is a musician from An Rinn in Co Waterford. He will perform the music of his late father, Liam Clancy, in a special online solo performance on Thursday at 7pm as part of this year's Clonmel Junction Festival.Question of Taste: Dónal Clancy

BETWEEN 1973 and early 1975, John Lennon split with Yoko Ono, took up with his assistant May Pang and embarked on a period of intense creativity and outrageous behaviour. Lennon later described this time as his “lost weekend”.Rufus Wainwright has returned a new man

Stan O’Sullivan tells Ellie O’Byrne about the genre-busting album from 2007 that probably doesn’t get the recognition it deservesB-Side the Leeside - Cork’s Greatest Records: Louder & Clearer from Stanley Super 800

In recent times one of the most recurring and troubling conversations I have with teenagers, in therapy, is around their use of marijuana. Often parents seek out therapy because they have noticed a dramatic shift in their child’s behaviour.Richard Hogan: Beware of making light of your teen's marijuana use

More From The Irish Examiner