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Indonesia Fireworks Factory Blast Death Toll at 47: Police 

Witnesses said there were two explosions, both of which could be heard miles away.

Published
World
2 min read
Site of an explosion at a firecracker factory in Tangerang, on the outskirt of Jakarta, Indonesia.
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Two explosions and a fire at a fireworks factory in the western outskirts of Indonesia's capital killed 47 people and injured dozens on Thursday, police said, and the death toll was expected to rise.

Thick plumes of dark smoke billowed from a factory warehouse in the Tangerang district of Jakarta, an industrial and manufacturing hub on the island of Java, TV broadcasts showed.

Hours later the factory was still smouldering and there was a strong smell of burning plastic and chemicals.

Witnesses said there were two explosions, one at around 10 am (03:00 GMT) and another about three hours later, both of which could be heard miles away, media reports said.

A grisly video of the scene inside the warehouse, which was widely shared on social media, showed onlookers counting badly charred bodies.

“From the manifest we obtained, there were 103 workers. Of those 103 workers ... there were 46 who were injured," Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Metro Television. "We also found some who had died. There are 47 bodies."

An official had earlier put the death toll at 30.

Yuwono said 10 people on the manifest who were not accounted for may have left with light injuries or not been working at the time of the blasts.

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Forensic police worked in the fading light to examine the debris and were trying to set up floodlights as night fell.
Forensic police worked in the fading light to examine the debris and were trying to set up floodlights as night fell.
(Photo: AP)

The online video and media images of the PT Panca Buana Cahaya Sukses warehouse showed smouldering ash and debris, with the roof missing in some parts.

A search and rescue official, Deden Nurjaman, said bodies were still inside and he expected the death toll to climb. "People were burned so badly you couldn’t see their faces... It was really bad," said Nurjaman.

Industrial safety standards in Indonesia are often low and rules poorly enforced. There have been a series of major fires this year, including one that engulfed one of Jakarta's main markets.

At the scene of Thursday's disaster, the grass was scorched in an area around 10 metres from the site.

Forensic police worked in the fading light to examine the debris and were trying to set up floodlights as night fell.

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