Dozens killed in fireworks factory fire near Jakarta

Jakarta: More than 40 people were killed after a fire ripped through a fireworks factory in a satellite city of Jakarta with bodies incinerated as people tried to escape from the back of the building.

"We found bodies burnt down to skeletons, some charred, some partially charred," Agus Margono, the head of operational control for Tangerang firefighters told Fairfax Media.

It is expected the death toll will be even higher than the 47 bodies uncovered at first with more victims likely to be found in the ash and rubble.

Mr Agus said bodies had been found banked against the back wall of the factory.

"It seems fire was blocking the exit, so they tried to break down the back wall to escape. But it was a double wall and they couldn't get out."

As night fell, the warehouse was still smouldering and there was a stench of chemicals and burning plastic.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Metro Television in addition to the dead, 46 people were injured and 10 people were unaccounted for.

The fire started about 9am at the factory in Tangerang, about 25 kilometres west of Jakarta. The cause of the horrific blaze was still being investigated.

"Because it was a fireworks factory, there were likely explosions from the materials," Mr Agus said.

He said it was likely some people died from smoke inhalation.

The blaze was extinguished about 1pm local time by nine fire trucks. Thirty people were rushed to hospital suffering burns to 60 to 80 per cent of their bodies.

"According to the survivors, there were dozens of workers at the time of the fire," Mr Agus said.

Forensic police worked in fading light to examine the debris, setting up a few floodlights to try and establish the cause of the blaze.

Yuwono said police were looking into the permit of the factory, located near a school and housing.

- with Reuters

This story Dozens killed in fireworks factory fire near Jakarta first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.