Saturday 24 February 2018

At least 47 die in explosions at Indonesia fireworks plant

Indonesian forensic policemen work after a fire disaster in Tangerang Kota, Banten province. Photo: Getty
Indonesian forensic policemen work after a fire disaster in Tangerang Kota, Banten province. Photo: Getty

Kanupriya Kapoor in Kosambi

Two explosions tore through a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Indonesia's capital yesterday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens.

It was one of Indonesia's worst industrial disasters and is likely to cast a new spotlight on lax safety standards in the Southeast Asian country, where rules are often ignored or weakly enforced.

Workers had no time to escape from the plant in Tangerang, an industrial and manufacturing hub to the west of Jakarta, after the explosions that one neighbour described as a "roar" that could be heard miles away. A video of the scene inside the warehouse, widely shared on social media, showed charred bodies sprawled about the burnt-out factory, and reporters saw grass scorched over an area about 10 metres from the site.

"People were burned so badly you couldn't see their faces ... It was really bad," said search and rescue official Deden Nurjaman, who expected the death toll to climb.

Fireworks are frequently used in Indonesia for religious and other celebrations, and are widely available.

Irish Independent

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