[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Fire in factory claims lives in Pakistan
At least 21 workers dead after blaze apparently caused by generator destroys shoe-making unit in eastern city of Lahore.
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2012 18:34
Firefighters were struggling to control the fire that swept through a factory in Lahore on Tuesday [EPA]

A fire that broke out in a factory in eastern Pakistan has killed 21 people, according to a senior police officer.

Multan Khan said on Tuesday that six people were also injured in the blaze at the factory in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

Some of the people died from suffocation while others burned alive when the flames surrounded the chemicals, he said.

In a separate incident, a second factory fire, this time in Karachi, claimed one life and injured 14 others after a garment factory erupted into flames.

Reports suggested that people were still inside.

The fire in the Lahore factory broke out when people in the building were trying to start their generator after the electricity went out. Sparks from the generator made contact with the chemicals, igniting the blaze.

Pakistan faces widespread blackouts, and many people use generators to provide electricity for their houses or to run businesses.

Pakistani television showed pictures of what appeared to be a three-story building with flames leaping from the top-floor windows and smoke billowing into the night sky.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Pakistani prime minister, expressed his shock and grief over the deaths in a statement.

Many people in Lahore have set up shoe factories at homes and in residential areas.

Many of the factories are ill-equipped and often lack modern fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers or sprinklers.

225

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.