Blaze at fireworks factory in Indonesia kills 47

Residents watch as thick black smoke billows from the site of the explosion in Tangerang

Workers had no time to escape from the plant in Tangerang, an industrial and manufacturing hub to the west of Jakarta, after the explosions that one neighbour described as a "roar" that could be heard miles away.

The cause of the fire is said to be an explosion in a pickup mini van loaded with raw materials for fireworks, Denny Hassan, a senior official of the disaster management agency in the city, told Xinhua news agency.

"The men are suspected of negligence that led to deaths", said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono.

Many charred corpses were found clustered at the back of the factory, police said, indicating there may have been a panicked rush to flee the flames.

He said some workers were young women and teenagers, but he was not sure if any were underage. "First there's the life-saving stage, then further treatment to prevent infections, and cosmetic procedures".

"That pool was like a hand of God", Fitriyah, who goes by one name, said Friday from the hospital room where she was being treated for burns.

"Her skin has been burned off completely", she said, pointing to her forearms, torso and legs, and adding that her daughter had started working at the plant a month ago.

The death toll could continue to rise, as many of those who escaped suffered extensive burns, according to police.

"If we stay here, we won't be safe", she eventually told her friends, before climbing a 3-metre wall beside the tub and breaking through the roof.

Then a co-worker appeared and told Fitriyah to follow him and to jump in a nearby pool used to wash factory equipment.

Authorities have not yet said how the fire started, but have confirmed it began near the front door and quickly spread.

As investigators tried to piece together what happened, relatives crushed by grief went to a police hospital's morgue in eastern Jakarta on Friday morning to identify loved ones.

Indonesia's Manpower Ministry has established a team to investigate the disaster, including reports minors were working at the factory.

Priyanto admitted safety awareness was "very low" among companies and their employees.

"Regulations may be in place officially, but too often are simply ignored, resulting in high levels of complacency", it said.

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