KOMPAS.com – Just a few minutes before breaking the fast on the last day of the holy month of Ramadan for the Muslim community, four people were killed in a fireworks explosion in a village in Kebumen, Central Java. Villagers usually ignite firecrackers to celebrate the arrival of the Eid al-Fitr festival after fasting for 30 days.
In other news, floods that were triggered by heavy rain hit a small town of Parapat, Simalungun regency in Indonesia’s North Sumatera province on Thursday, May 13.
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Fatal Explosion: Victims Allegedly Make Firecrackers while Smoking at House in Indonesia’s Central Java
Kebumen Police is currently investigating a fatal firecracker incident that killed four people and injured four others in a village in Kebumen, Central Java a day before Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Wednesday, May 12.
Kebumen Police chief, Senior Adjunct Police Commissioner Piter Yanottama, said that a team of forensic officers have been deployed to assist in the investigation.
It was reported that the projectile of firecrackers was ejected as far as 12 meters in the fatal explosion.
“The weight of firecracker powder is estimated to be around two to three kilograms, but we are still investigating the matter. We found 400 firecracker shells that were still empty in a big sack,” said Piter on Thursday, May 13.
Witnesses said some of the victims were smoking when they made the firecrackers, which was suspected to have triggered the explosion.
“During the witness examination, half of the seven firecracker makers were smoking when they filled the shells with firecracker powder,” he said.
Previously, it was reported that the explosion occurred at around 5:30 pm local time in a house belongs to one of the villagers. The firecracker explosion killed four people and injured four others, including a woman.
Floods, Landslides Strike Indonesia’s Tourist Destination in North Sumatera
Floods that were triggered by heavy rain hit a small town of Parapat, Simalungun regency in Indonesia’s North Sumatera province on Thursday, May 13.
Some villages along the Siantar-Parapat Trans-Sumatera roads were not only inundated by floodwaters but also covered by mud after landslides hit the areas, which paralyzed traffic on several streets.
Simalungun Police chief Senior Adjunct Police Commissioner (AKBP) Agus Waluyo said police personnel have been deployed to clean up the affected areas.
“Currently, it is being handled by our police members. I am on my way to the scene. The roads in the affected areas are temporarily closed as they are prone to landslides,” Tribun Medan quoted Agus as saying on Thursday.
The floods occurred at 3:30 pm local time on a public holiday as the Muslim community celebrates Eid al-Fitr. Motorists were stuck on the roads, trying to turn back.
Some vehicles were swept away by the floods when passing Sisingamangaraja Street in the Parapat subdistrict. A small river that connects to Lake Toba, a popular tourist destination in North Sumatera, overflowed and the water passed over the bridge. Sisingamangaraja-Parapat Street was then also flooded.
Jokowi Greets Muslims on Eid al-Fitr, Hopes for a Better Indonesia
Indonesia's President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and First Lady Iriana Wednesday sent a special message to the Muslim community on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr festival, which also marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"From the Bogor Presidential Palace, I wish you happy Idul Fitri 1442 Hijriah. From the bottom of my heart forgive me for any wrongdoings," said Jokowi in a broadcast message on Wednesday, May 12.
As the new moon was not sighted on Thursday, May 11, the government declared the first day of Syawal 1442 Hijrah corresponding to May 13, 2021. Jokowi expressed hopes that the Eid al-Fitr holiday can become a momentum for all people to rise amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Hopefully, this victorious day will become a momentum for all of us to rise and win against the Covid-19 pandemic," said Jokowi.
On the same occasion, the First Lady also extended her warmest wishes to all Indonesians celebrating Eid al-Fitr. "I also wish you happy Eid al-Fitr, from the bottom of my heart forgive me for any wrongdoings," said Iriana.
Earlier, the Head of the Presidential Secretariat Heru Budi Hartono said President Jokowi, the First Lady, and their family performed the Eid prayers at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Thursday, May 13.
The Eid prayers took place at 7:00 am local time at the Bogor Presidential Palace on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta. The President and the First Lady celebrated the country's biggest festive holiday in low-key celebrations for two consecutive years due to the Covid-19 concerns.
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