27 Oct 2017

Dozens die in explosions at Indonesia fireworks factory

5:19 am on 27 October 2017

About 46 people have died, 46 are injured, and 10 are unaccounted for after explosions at a fireworks factory in Indonesia.

The scene of the explosion, which claimed dozens of lives.

The scene of the explosion, which claimed dozens of lives. Photo: AFP

The blaze took hold at around 9am local time at an industrial complex in Tangerang, west of the capital Jakarta.

"We are still evacuating victims... there are 46 body bags," Tangerang Kota police chief Harry Kurniawan told AFP.

The fire has been brought under control.

Forensic officers are at the scene and the wounded have been taken to three hospitals.

Police said many of the dead were found clustered at the back of the factory, suggesting they tried in vain to flee the flames.

"Those who died are completely unrecognisable, totally burnt," firefighter Oni Sahroni told Indonesia's Metro TV.

Citing witnesses, local media said there were two explosions at the warehouse - one at around 10:00 and another three hours later.

The first sparked a massive fire and brought down the factory roof. Nearby cars were burned out, and television footage showed thick black smoke pouring from the site.

A local government official told Metro TV the factory had only been running for six weeks.

One local resident, Beni Benteng said he heard an explosion, followed by the cries of people inside.

"My friends and I and some police officers knocked down a wall so people could escape, then the workers came out," he told AFP.

"I saw people including women were jumping from above."

It is not yet known what prompted the explosions.