Two explosions and a subsequent blaze at a fireworks factory on the western outskirts of Indonesia’s capital have killed at least 47 people and injured dozens more, officials have said.
TV news channels broadcast images of thick plumes of dark smoke billowing from a warehouse in the Tangerang district of Jakarta, an industrial and manufacturing hub on the island of Java.
“There are 47 bodies,” police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Metro Television. “From the manifest we obtained there were 103 workers.” Of this latter figure, 46 were injured in the explosion, he said, adding that they were being treated at three nearby hospitals.
Witnesses told local media there were two explosions, one at about 10am and another about three hours later, both of which could be heard miles away.
Harry Kurniawan, the Tangerang police chief, said the bodies were discovered by his officers when they entered the factory warehouse, the Detik news site reported. He said the death toll could rise further as many of the dozens of injured have extensive burns.
Beni Benteng, a local resident, told AFP he heard an explosion and people inside screaming for help. “My friends and I and some police officers knocked down a wall so people could escape, then the workers came out,” he said. “I saw people including women were jumping from above, oh my God.”
Authorities have not yet said how the fire started, but confirmed it began near the front door and quickly spread.