[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list