Tangerang prison fire

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Tangerang prison fire
Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Kelas I Tangerang, 2021.jpg
Above the prison entrance
Date8 September 2021 (2021-09-08)
Time01:45 WIB
(18:45 UTC, 7 September)[1]
LocationClass I Tangerang Prison, Sector C
Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia
Non-fatal injuries72

The Tangerang prison fire was a fire that occurred in an overcrowded prison block in the city of Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia, in Greater Jakarta. The fire began at about 01:45 WIB on 8 September 2021 (18:45 UTC, 7 September) in sector C of the Tangerang prison, killing 41 inmates and injuring a further 75.[2] More victims succumbed to their injuries on the following days, raising the death toll to a total of 49 people.[3]


Prison system[edit]

The Indonesian prison system has been overcrowded for years, partially due to stringent laws governing narcotics and a focus on incarceration rather than rehabilitation for those that violate them.[4][5] Sector C (Chandiri Nengga),[6] the affected prison block, held inmates incarcerated for drug-related offenses.[7] The Class I prison in Tangerang had a capacity of 600, but was holding more than 2,000 inmates.[4] Sector C had been built to hold 38 inmates, but had held 122 at the time of the fire.[5]

Tangerang prison[edit]

The Tangerang prison, officially known as the Tangerang Class I Correctional Facility (Indonesian: Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Klas I Tangerang), was constructed in 1972 as a substitute for the Glodok prison, which at that time had been sold to a private company.[8] The prison was inaugurated on 6 December 1982, by the Director General of Prisons. Although the prison was initially intended to incarcerate white-collar criminals, a surge of drug-related crime in 2008 prompted the government to transfer drug-related criminals into the prison. As of 2016, 60% of inmates in the prison were imprisoned due to drug-related cases.[9]


Police members transferring the bodies of the victims into an ambulance.

The fire started at 01:45 local time, when a small fire occurred in sector C2 of the prison.[10] A prison employee, Iyan Sofyan, heard screams from inside the sector's cells.[11] Several other wardens and guards tried to evacuate the entire sector, but were only able to evacuate 20 inmates.[11] The sector housed inmates being held for drug-related offences and had a capacity for 38 but at least three times that were housed there[12] with a spokeswoman for the ministry's corrections department reporting that 122 individuals were housed in a space for 38.[13]

According to the prison's protocols, the inmates were kept in locked cells, but as the fire spread the prison employees did not manage to unlock every room.[14] All the deaths occurred in the locked cells.[15] Firefighters were alerted of the disaster shortly after, and around 30 fire trucks were deployed. The fire trucks arrived on the scene at 02:00,[16] had the fire under control by around 03:00,[17] and finally extinguished the flames roughly two hours after they began.[18]

Multiple Indonesian officials immediately arrived at the scene. Police chief of Jakarta Inspector-General M. Fadil Imran arrived in the morning and deployed around 150 police, mostly Brimob members, to secure the prison perimeters.[18] Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly and deputy minister Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej followed shortly at around 10 AM local time.[19]


Some of the inmates that were killed during the fire

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, 41 inmates were killed, eight others seriously injured, and 73 lightly injured.[5][4] The injured victims were brought to the Sitanala Hospital and the Tangerang Regency General Hospital.[1] A day after the fire, three critically injured victims died in hospital, bringing the death toll to 44.[20] The death toll rose to 46 six days after the fire.[21][22] The death toll later rose to 49.[23]

Most of the dead inmates were imprisoned for drug-related crimes, while a number of others were imprisoned for terrorism and murder. Two of the dead inmates were foreigners: one from South Africa and the other from Portugal.[24] All of the injured inmates were convicted for drug-related charges.[17]


Initial investigations by the police indicated that the fire occurred due to a short circuit.[10] The electrical wiring of the prison had not been upgraded since the prison was built in 1972, and there was also a shortage of fire extinguishers.[12]

Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly holding a press conference around an hour after his arrival.


Member of the People's Representative Council Syarifuddin Sudding demanded responsibility from Laoly in regards to the incident.[25] In response to the demands, Laoly formed five teams to assist in handling the incident, with each team being responsible for victim identification, victims' funerals, victims' family recovery, coordination of handling, or public relations.[26]

The President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, via his spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman, delivered his condolences to the victims and stated his expectation that the disaster could be handled with few casualties.[27]

Following the accident, Laoly announced that the relatives of the victims would be compensated. Each next-of-kin of the deceased would receive Rp 30 million (US$ 2,120).[28]

Mayor of Tangerang Arief Rachadiono Wismansyah announced that the city would provide financial compensation for the relatives of the victims.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bhwana, Petir Garda (8 September 2021). "Police Say Fire in Tangerang Prison Caused by Short Circuit". Tempo. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Indonesia prison fire: Tangerang jail blaze kills 41 inmates". BBC News. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Bertambah, Korban Tewas Kebakaran Lapas Tangerang Jadi 49 Orang". news.detik.com. Detik. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Dozens killed in fire at overcrowded Indonesian prison". Al Jazeera. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Suroyo, Gayatri (8 September 2021). "Fire at overcrowded Indonesian prison kills at least 40 -official". Reuters. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  6. ^ Zulfikar, Muhammad; Liman, Uyu (8 September 2021). "South African, Portuguese nationals die in Tangerang Prison blaze". Antara. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  7. ^ Jamaluddin, Masrur (8 September 2021). "Fire at a prison in Indonesia kills at least 41 people". CNN. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Penjara Dijual ke Swasta". Kompas. 6 November 1972. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  9. ^ Hudzaifi, Ahmad (23 March 2017). Prisonisasi Dan Pembelajaran Kejahatan Di Lembaga Pemasyarakatan (Studi Kasus: Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Klas I Tangerang). Jakarta: UIN Jakarta. pp. 40–41.
  10. ^ a b Putra, Erik Purnama (8 September 2021). "Kapolda Duga Pemicu Kebakaran Lapas Akibat Korsleting". Republika. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b Cipta, Ayu (8 September 2021). "Lapas Tangerang Terbakar: Sempat Terdengar Teriakan Kebakaran, 100 Napi Terjebak". Tempo. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  12. ^ a b "Dozens killed in fire at overcrowded Indonesian prison". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  13. ^ Francis, Ellen (8 September 2021). "A fire in a packed Indonesian prison killed 41 convicts. Many were trapped in their cells". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Fire kills 41 in overcrowded Indonesia prison block". Reuters. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  15. ^ Darmawan, Rakha Ariyanto (8 September 2021). "41 Napi Lapas Tangerang Tewas dalam Sel Terkunci". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  16. ^ Suryo, Danang (8 September 2021). "Kebakaran Hebat di Lapas I Tangerang, Damkar Ungkap Terjadi Jam 2 Pagi". Kompas. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Berikut Identitas Korban Luka Kebakaran di Lapas Tangerang". TV One. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  18. ^ a b Putra, Erik Purnama (8 September 2021). "Polda Metro Jaya Kerahkan 150 Personel Jaga Lapas Tangerang". Republika. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  19. ^ Aditya, Nicholas Ryan (8 September 2021). "Menkumham dan Wamenkumham Cek Langsung Lokasi Kebakaran Lapas Tangerang". Kompas. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  20. ^ Da Costa, Agustinus Beo (9 September 2021). "Death toll from Indonesia jail blaze at 44 amid focus on overcrowding". Reuters. Jakarta. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Tambah 1, Napi Meninggal akibat Kebakaran Lapas Tangerang Jadi 45 Orang". 12 September 2021.
  22. ^ "Tangerang Prison Fire Death Toll Rises To 46". Tempo. 13 September 2021.
  23. ^ "Why are Indonesian prisons so dangerous?". Al Jazeera. 30 October 2021.
  24. ^ Rozie, Fachrur (8 September 2021). "2 WNA Meninggal dalam Kebakaran di Lapas Kelas I Tangerang". Liputan 6. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  25. ^ "DPR Minta Yasonna Tanggung Jawab Kebakaran Lapas Tangerang". CNN Indonesia. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  26. ^ Irfan, Achmad; Adji, Raka (8 September 2021). "Ministry forms five teams to handle Tangerang prison fire case". Antara. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  27. ^ Rizky, Fahreza (8 September 2021). "Jokowi Berduka Atas Kebakaran di Lapas Tangerang yang Tewaskan 41 Orang". Sindo News. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  28. ^ Marhaenjati, Bayu (8 September 2021). "Kebakaran Lapas Tangerang, Korban Meninggal Diberikan Santunan Rp 30 Juta". Berita Satu. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  29. ^ Naufal, Muhammad (8 September 2021). "Pemkot Akan Berikan Santunan ke Keluarga Korban Tewas di Lapas Tangerang". Kompas. Retrieved 9 September 2021.

Coordinates: 06°11′12″S 106°38′25″E / 6.18667°S 106.64028°E / -6.18667; 106.64028