LUDHIANA – At least ten persons, including three firemen, were killed, while several others were are still feared trapped under the debris, after a plastic bag manufacturing factory after it caught fire and collapsed in Ludhiana on Monday morning, police said.
Firefighters were trying to douse the flames when the factory collapsed, trapping 15-20 people, police officials said.Some more firemen were among those trapped inside the multi-storey building of a plastic factory near Sufia Chowk in Industrial Area that caught fire at around 6:3am.
The fire was brought under control, but the chemical that was inside the factory led to an explosion that collapsed the building. Adjoining buildings have also been affected. Two to three buildings are on the verge of collapsing too.
Bhupinder Singh, fire officer, to ANI
The police on registered an FIR against Inderjeet Singh, the owner of the plastic factory, on 21 November.
District Commissioner of Ludhiana, Pradeep Aggarwal, told ANI that ten bodies have been recovered so far while rescue work is still underway.
Rescue operations were still on and could go on through the night.
While the army has been put on alert, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team assisted by local authorities were engaged in a massive rescue operation.
Senior district administration and police officials were also present at the site.
While locals say at least 40 persons, including 10 fire brigade officials, are trapped inside the building, police is pegging the number to be between 8-10. Rescue work in on.
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has asked the district administration to extend all help to NDRF in the rescue operations and said he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident.
“Shocked and saddened at the Ludhiana factory collapse. Have asked district administration to extend all help to NDRF in rescue operations,” he tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)