Police continue investigation into lighter factory case

Police continue investigation into lighter factory case

North Sumatra Police Spokesman Adjunct Senior Commissioner M. P. Nainggolan

Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - North Sumatra Police will continue investigating the deaths of 30 people in a lighter factory in Langkat District, Friday, by interrogating the owner of a house rented to a local businessman to run the factory. The statement was made by North Sumatra Police spokesman Adjunct Senior Commissioner MP Nainggolan.

The house owner only identified by his initials as SM, 40, faced the police's questioning since he had rented the house to BH, 37, a local businessman to run the factory, Nainggolan stated on Saturday.

Speaking to journalists in Medan, Nainggolan remarked that the police investigators had also cross-examined BH in connection with the deaths of 30 people, including five children, in the house he had used to operate the lighter factory.

Located in Sambirejo Village, Binjai Sub-district, Langkat District, North Sumatra Province, the lighter factory got engulfed in fire on Friday, claiming the lives of 25 adults and five children, who had got trapped inside.

Nainggolan further remarked that police investigators of the Binjai Subdistrict Police Precinct had also questioned four workers -- Dewi Novitasari, 29; Haryani, 30; Nuraidah, 24; and Ayu Anitasari -- who had survived the deadly fire.

The police investigators also summoned two witnesses, identified as Agus, 45, and Selamat, 44, who reside in Sambirejo Village, to help uncover this case, he revealed.

According to the Langkat Disaster Mitigation Agency, the fire killed 30 people, including Nurhayati, Yunita Sari, Pinja, Sasa, Suci/Aseh, Mia, Ayu, Desi/Ismi, Juna, Dhijah, Maya, Rani, Alfiah, Rina, Amini, Kiki, Priska, Yuni, Sawitri, Fitri, Sifah, and Wiwik.

In the meantime, a witness named Suryadi, who had evacuated the victims to Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra Province, remarked that only four workers survived the fire that broke out before the Friday prayer at 12:00 local time.

He recalled that several factory workers had died after being trapped in the factory building.

"When the fire broke out, the front door (of the factory) was locked, which opened only the back door, while the source of the fire was from behind," Suryadi said, adding that all victims were women since they constituted the entire workforce there.