BLITAR, INDONESIA — An explosion of firecrackers in Sadeng Hamlet, Karangbendo Village, Ponggok Subdistrict, Blitar Regency had a devastating impact, resulting in the loss of four lives and damage to 25 houses.
According to a report by detikJatim on Monday (20 February), the scene of the incident appeared to be in a state of devastation, with roofs from nearby homes scattered about and walls broken. Debris from the destroyed houses could also be seen scattered in the area.
In addition to the destruction of houses, the explosion also resulted in damage to several vehicles owned by residents, which were left in ruins. Furthermore, the explosion caused the death of livestock belonging to the affected residents.
Sri Utami, an eyewitness to the incident, stated that she and her family were watching television when they heard a rumbling sound from outside their house. Upon investigating, she saw a flash of light. Shortly after, the 53-year-old woman heard an extremely loud explosion which caused the roof of her house to collapse.
According to preliminary information from the police, the explosion is believed to have taken place at 10.30 pm on Sunday (19 Feb). As a precautionary measure, the police secured the area within a radius of 100 meters.
AKBP Argowiyono, the Blitar Police Chief, stated that the explosion originated from a resident’s house where firecrackers were being made.
This was likely due to the upcoming Eid al-Fitr celebrations, during which residents typically set off firecrackers to commemorate Muslim holidays.
Several body bags were observed being carried by a team comprising of the East Java Provincial BPBD, Blitar City/Cab, and Basarnas Volunteers on the road located to the east of the site where the explosion occurred.
The officers removed a fragment of the victim’s body, roughly the size of a fist, which had a black colour and emitted a strong odour of sulfur. The fragment was then placed in a body bag.
“The explosion is suspected to have been caused by a firecracker, but the East Java Police Forensic Laboratory Team, which is currently en route to the location, will confirm the cause of the explosion,” said Argowiyono.