Nine dead as factory falls in in Pakistan


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The Independent Online

Rescue workers struggled to reach dozens of survivors trapped in the rubble of a factory that collapsed in Lahore yesterday, killing at least nine people.

The factory, which manufactured medicines, was set up illegally in a residential area. It caved in after several gas cylinders exploded. Authorities had previously closed the factory three times.

The factory was owned by a politician who used his influence to keep it open, a local resident, Munawar Ali, claimed.

Records indicate there were around 60 people, including women and children, inside the factory when it collapsed, said Rizwan Naseer, head of the state-run rescue service in Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital.

The nine dead people who were pulled out included five women, three boys and one adult man, said Naseer. Authorities rescued 11 people, and several others managed to extricate themselves. At least 32 people were still believed to be trapped, he said.