An explosion and inferno at a firecracker factory near the Indonesian capital on Thursday killed at least 23 people and injured dozens, police said. The fire began Thursday morning at the factory next to a residential area in Tangerang, a city in Banten province on the western outskirts of Jakarta. A police report said the fire spread after an explosion and that the factory’s roof had collapsed.
Tangerang police chief Hary Kurniawan said more than 40 injured people were being treated at three hospitals. The factory had been operating for less than two months, he said. Indonesia’s MetroTV, quoting a local official, said although the factory had a permit, its proximity to a residential area was against regulations. Safety laws are often inconsistently enforced in Indonesia.
A Jakarta police official, Nico Afinda, said the bodies were found piled at the rear of the building. The factory had more than 100 employees, according to Afinda.