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Death toll rises to 10 in India plastics factory fire

Staff Writer |
The death toll in Monday's fire at a plastics factory in the northern Indian state of Punjab has risen to 10, officials said Tuesday.

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"With the recovery of seven more bodies overnight from under the debris of the three-storied factory building that collapsed in the massive fire, the toll now stands at 10. Several factory workers are still feared trapped under the debris," a senior police official said.

The fire engulfed the factory at Mushtaq Nagar in the industrial city of Ludhiana, some 100 km from Punjab capital Chandigarh, and caved in on Monday afternoon when over 50 firefighters were trying to douse the flames.

"More than 15 factory workers who sustained burn injuries in the incident are currently undergoing treatment at a local hospital," the official said.

Apart from firefighters, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the para-military Border Security Force are carrying out search and rescue operations. "Some firefighters also sustained minor injuries," a fire official said.

A probe has been ordered into the incident, the police official added. Factory fires are common in Punjab, mainly due to lack of adherence to fire safety norms and laxity of authorities in ensuring the same.

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