At Least 27 Injured as Blast Rocks Jakarta Stock Exchange
A huge explosion rocked Jakarta's stock exchange on Wednesday injuring at least 27 people and leaving several trapped in an underground parking lot, officials and witnesses said.
A local radio report that one person had died in the blast in the high-rise exchange building could not immediately be confirmed.
Deputy police spokesman Senior Superintendent Saleh Saaf initially told AFP that the explosion was caused by a bomb but later said: "We are not sure, we are still checking.
"We don't know if it was a bomb, or a gas explosion or connected to the power generator," he said.
An emergency ward nurse at the Indonesian capital's Pertamina hospital said the hospital had received no fatalities. Twenty-seven people had been treated for injuries, she said.
ANTeve television station said an unknown number of people were trapped in the second floor of an underground parking lot.
"One of my colleagues (a security officer) is still trapped in the second level of parking," Ahmad Nur Hasan, a fire control officer for the Maxxus oil company, told an AFP reporter at the scene.
"When I spoke to him last at 4:00 p.m. (0900 GMT) he was still coughing from the smoke and could not talk to me," Hasan said.
The AFP reporter saw a huge column of black smoke rising from the front facade of the building, whose power had been cut off.
Hundreds of employees who had fled the building in panic were milling around in the streets outside.
Firemen were on the scene.
The South Jakarta fire brigade said it has deployed 10 fire engines and the Central Jakarta brigade has sent another two to the site of the blast.
Second Sergent Yudha of the Jakarta police said a generator unit in front of the multi-storey building in central Jakarta had exploded.
But senior police spokesman Superintenant Nur Usman said the blast had taken place in the second tier of the underground parking lots.
No warning had been received of the blast, he said, adding that he had no reports of deaths. "No one was killed," he said.
The Satunet online news service said the explosion, at 3:30 p.m. (0830 GMT), half an hour before the close of trading, was heard several kilometers away, and another online service Koridor.com said scores of cars had been burned.
Telephones at the exchange building in central Jakarta rang unanswered.
Sudrajat (eds: one name), a deliveryman for a securities firm, said he was inside the building at the time of the explosion.
"I was up on the 20th floor when the explosion went off. It sounded like a huge BOOM! Everybody on that floor ran to escape, but fortunately no one got trampled."
A dealer at a foreign brokerage said all dealers were evacuated from the floor - JAKARTA (AFP)
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