More than 40 people were killed after a fire ripped through a fireworks factory in a satellite city of Jakarta with bodies incinerated as people tried to escape from the back of the building.

“We found bodies burnt down to skeletons, some charred, some partially charred,” Agus Margono, the head of operational control for Tangerang firefighters told Fairfax Media.

It is expected the death toll will be even higher than the 47 bodies uncovered at first with more victims likely to be found in the ash and rubble.

Mr Agus said bodies had been found banked against the back wall of the factory.

“It seems fire was blocking the exit, so they tried to break down the back wall to escape. But it was a double wall and they couldn’t get out.”

As night fell, the warehouse was still smouldering and there was a stench of chemicals and burning plastic.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Metro Television in addition to the dead, 46 people were injured and 10 people were unaccounted for.