Chemistry explosion in Indonesia: 22 injured

A powerful explosion tore through a chemical laboratory in central Jakarta on Thursday, ripping the roof of a nearby school building and injuring at least 22 people, one of them critically, officials said. The accidental blast was triggered by chemicals stored in the laboratory, on the grounds of the country's Food and Drug Agency, Jakarta police chief Maj. Firman Gani told reporters at the scene.

The explosion in central Jakarta panicked nearby residents. The city in recent years has seen a series of bomb attacks, mostly blamed on the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terror group. Authorities have warned that the group is plotting more attacks.

Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam initially said one person died in the blast. He later said he had been misinformed, and that the victim was in a critical condition in a Jakarta hospital. At least 21 others were injured, most of them lightly, he said.

The explosion wrecked the laboratory, on the first floor of three-story building.

It also ripped the roof of adjoining school building, where students were taking a morning test, officials said. Most of the victims were students, reports the AP. I.L.

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