The fire spread quickly and there was no time to open all the cells, Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly explained.
Police sources stated that the bodies, most of them unrecognizable, have been taken to a Jakarta morgue for identification. In some cases, DNA tests will have to be used to complete the process.
According to preliminary investigations, the fire was caused by a short circuit in the cellblock where those prisoners were confined for drug offenses. A total of 2,000 inmates, more than three times the capacity allowed, are housed at the prison, located on the outskirts of Tangerang.