Ex­plo­sion at In­done­sian fac­tory kills 47

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An ex­plo­sion and in­ferno at a fire­works fac­tory near the In­done­sian cap­i­tal on Thurs­day killed at least 47 peo­ple, most of them fe­male work­ers who were ap­par­ently locked in­side, and in­jured dozens.

Wit­nesses said a huge ex­plo­sion was heard from the fac­tory at about 10 a.m. and then smaller blasts echoed across the neigh­bour­hood as or­ange flames jumped from the build­ing and col­umns of black smoke bil­lowed from it. 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 bod­ies were found piled at the rear of the build­ing.

Po­lice said 103 peo­ple were work­ing at the fac­tory and 10 are still un­ac­counted for.

It’s pos­si­ble some or all of those 10 had not come to work or suf­fered only mi­nor in­juries and didn’t seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion, said Jakarta po­lice spokesman Argo Yu­wono.

A lo­cal res­i­dent told In­done­sia’s MetroTV he saw po­lice and res­i­dents smash through a wall of the fac­tory so trapped work­ers could es­cape. Some of the vic­tims were burn­ing as they ran out, he said.

“The fire be­gan with a strong ex­plo­sion like a bomb,” Benny, who goes by one name, told the TV chan­nel.

A worker who es­caped the fire said the fac­tory’s staff was 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 ($3) a day.

Tangerang po­lice chief Hary Kur­ni­awan said 46 in­jured peo­ple were be­ing treated at three hos­pi­tals. The fac­tory had been op­er­at­ing for less than two months, he said.


Fire­fight­ers work at the site of an ex­plo­sion at a fire­cracker fac­tory in tangerang, on the out­skirt of Jakarta, in­done­sia, thurs­day.

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