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At least 24 dead in fire at Indonesia matchstick factory

The blaze broke out at midday in the makeshift facility located in a residential area, killing 21 adults and three children, said Riadil Akhir Lubis, head of the provincial disaster mitigation agency.

By: Reuters | Jakarta | Published: June 21, 2019 3:32:19 pm
Paramedics put body bags containing the remains of the victims of a fire that razed through a match factory on a stretcher upon arrival at a hospital in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Friday, June 21, 2019. A number of people including children were killed in the fire that swept through a house that doubled as a match factory, a disaster official said Friday. (AP Photo)

At least 24 people died on Friday in a fire at a small factory producing matchsticks in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province, authorities said.

The blaze broke out at midday in the makeshift facility located in a residential area, killing 21 adults and three children, said Riadil Akhir Lubis, head of the provincial disaster mitigation agency.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

“(The children) were probably not workers. Their parents, who lived nearby, brought them to work,” said Irwan Syahri, head of the local disaster agency, told Metro TV.

Indonesia has a patchy industrial safety record. In 2017, a series of explosions and a fire killed 47 workers and injured dozens at a fireworks factory on the outskirts of Jakarta.

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