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Fireworks factory fire kills more than 47 people in Indonesia

At least 47 people have been killed in an explosion and fire at a fireworks factory near Jakarta, Thursday 26th Oct.

There are many missing from the 103 employees, working in the factory at the time, bodies are still being recovered from the building and police said they were trying to locate all the employees who worked there. The factory was 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 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.

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 back,” the commissioner said.

“Most of 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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Asia Pacific Fire, Editor

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