Two people have been identified as suspects by authorities investigating a deadly fire at an Indonesian lighter factory near the North Sumatra’s capital Medan. The fire killed 30 people last Friday, including several children, a police chief said Saturday.
The business was initially reported as a matchstick factory, but an investigation revealed it was actually producing lighters.
Fire broke out in the factory when a worker was conducting a test for the product. The gas lighter exploded, and the panicked worker threw it on a pile of thousands of ready-to-pack products, triggering a massive explosion.
Workers were unable to escape the premises as a gate was locked when the fire started. The supervisor, who was in charge of locking and unlocking the gate, was also killed in the fire, North Sumatra police spokesman Tatan Dirsan Atmadja said
The death toll included twenty-five workers, all female, five children – four girls and one boy.
All victims were local residents who lived near the factory while the owner and supervisor only came to monitor the business once a month, Nuryanto said.
Indonesia has a patchy industrial safety record. In 2017, a series of explosions and a fire killed 47 workers and injured dozens at a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Jakarta.