At least 30 killed in Indonesia matchstick warehouse fire

A number of people including children were killed in the fire that swept through a house that doubled as a match factory in Langkat, North Sumatra, Indonesia. (AP)
Updated 21 June 2019
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At least 30 killed in Indonesia matchstick warehouse fire

  • Pictures from the scene showed blackened corpses lying on top of each other on the floor
  • Deadly fires are not uncommon in Indonesia due to poor safety standards that are routinely flouted

JAKARTA: At least 30 people, including several children, were killed when a fire ripped through a home that doubled as a matchstick factory in Indonesia on Friday, authorities said.
Pictures from the scene showed blackened corpses lying on top of each other on the floor in the aftermath of the blaze that authorities said broke out early Friday afternoon.
TV footage showed plumes of black smoke billowing from the home in the town of Binjai in North Sumatra, about 70 kilometers (44 miles) west of provincial capital Medan.
“We don’t know what caused the fire but it has been extinguished,” the head of North Sumatra’s disaster agency Riadil Lubis told AFP, adding that at least three children were among the victims.
“We’ve sent teams there,” he added.
Resident Budi Zulkifli said he was headed to the local mosque in the Muslim-majority nation when the fire broke out.
“I was about to go out Friday prayers when there was a loud explosion,” he told AFP.
“But I don’t know what blew up.”
Binjai police chief Nugroho Tri Nuryanto said a gas canister explosion may have set off the blaze, but that the cause still needed to be confirmed.
“We’re still identifying the victims and scouring the scene,” he said, adding that three people escaped the blaze.
It was not clear why there were children at the scene.
“Most likely they (employees) brought the kids to work,” Irwan Syahri, head the local disaster mitigation agency, told Metro TV, adding that the victims “were all badly burned and hard to recognize.”
Deadly fires are not uncommon in Indonesia due to poor safety standards that are routinely flouted, while homes doubling as illegal businesses is also widespread.
In 2017, at least 46 people were killed and dozens more injured in a blaze that tore through a fireworks factory outside Jakarta.
Seventeen people were killed when a fire ripped through a karaoke bar on Sulawesi island in 2015 and, in 2009, a fire killed 20 people at a karaoke bar in Medan, on Sumatra island.


Three people injured when car smashes into Trump Plaza lobby in New York suburb

Updated 9 sec ago

Three people injured when car smashes into Trump Plaza lobby in New York suburb

  • The luxury residential property in New Rochelle is not where US President Donald Trump and his family have a residence
  • Neither a representative for Trump’s properties nor the New Rochelle police were immediately available for comment
ATLANTA: A car plowed into the main hall of a Trump Plaza in suburban New York on Tuesday night, causing minor injuries to two bystanders and the driver, news media reported.

The luxury residential property in New Rochelle is not where US President Donald Trump and his family have a residence, but was widely reported by national media nonetheless.

A local ABC affiliate said the driver casually got out of his Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe and sat on the sofa in the building’s main hall after the crash at 9 pm in the city north of New York. The crash appeared to be an accident and the driver was being questioned by the police early Wednesday, NBC and other media reported.

There was nothing suspicious about the crash, New Rochelle police told local media. “We would like to thank the first responders for their swift attention to this evening’s incident,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said in an emailed statement to ABC News. “We are truly grateful to them for their service.”

Neither a representative for Trump’s properties nor the New Rochelle police were immediately available to Reuters early Wednesday for comment.