Dozens die in fireworks plant fire in Indonesia

Indonesian police officers check dead bodies after an explosion at a fireworks factory at Kosambi village in Tangerang, Banten province, Indonesia.
Indonesian police officers check dead bodies after an explosion at a fireworks factory at Kosambi village in Tangerang, Banten province, Indonesia. PHOTO: REUTERS

A blaze at a fireworks factory near the Indonesian capital yesterday left scores of people dead and many injured. The death toll was expected to rise.

The charred bodies of many of the victims were found clustered at the back of the factory in the industrial complex in Tangerang, police said, indicating there may have been a panicked rush to flee the blaze, which broke out before noon.

An injured worker, who was taken to hospital, said the fire erupted in the middle of production. Witnesses reported at least two explosions.

Parts of the building collapsed after being gutted by the blaze, which scorched nearby cars and motorbikes. Firemen brought the blaze under control by late afternoon.

The cause of the fire has not been established, but Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri has already blamed it on a lack of safe operating procedures.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'Dozens die in fireworks plant fire in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe