Explosion at Jakarta fireworks factory, 47 dead

Burnt out cars at the site of the Jakarta explosion.

Burnt out cars at the site of the Jakarta explosion. Photo: ABC

At least 47 people have been killed in an explosion and fire at a fireworks factory near Jakarta, authorities say.

Police said there were 103 workers at the factory in the city of Tangerang, 25 kilometres west of the capital Jakarta.

“The first thing we are going to do after the area has cooled off is a humanitarian effort,” Tangerang City Police chief Harry Kurniawan said.

“We are going to search whether there are any victims that need immediate treatment at hospitals.

“We are still counting the number of dead because they are in a condition that is hard to identify.”


Local media reported most of the victims were women who worked in the building.

More than 40 people are being treated in three nearby hospitals, while the bodies of the dead are being taken to a police hospital in Jakarta for identification.

“The warehouse is still not safe for us to work in, we need to clear it first and then we’ll know more,” forensic doctor Umar Shahab said at the scene.

Early investigations point to electrical fault

An electrical fault is believed to have caused the explosion, although police said they were still investigating.

The factory is in a densely populated area of Tangerang in the province of Baten.

Senior police commissioner Nico Afinta said the company, PT Panca, had been in operation for two months.

“We can say that the fire started from the front of the building and continued to the backside,” the commissioner said.

“Most of them [the victims] were piled up in the back because it seemed they were trying to avoid the fire at the front.”

Commissioner Afinta said police were checking the work permits for the company and the owner was being questioned.


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