LUDHIANA FACTORY COLLAPSE : 6 INCLUDING LACHMAN DRAVID KILLED, 3 RESCUED, 12 TRAPPED

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Ludhiana, The Hush Post: Six dead bodies were recovered and three injured rescued from the five-storey plastic manufacturing unit — Amarson Polymers at Industrial Area A. The incident took place in the morning when the five-storey factory caught fire and subsequently collapsed. About one dozen persons are buried under the rubble. Among those dead four have been identified so far as Inderpal Singh Gill, the president of Ludhiana based Punjab Taxi Union, senior fire officer Samuel Gill, fireman Puran Singh and Safai Karamchari Union leader Lachman Dravid. Those trapped inside are six fire brigade personnel who had gone to control the fire. The latest casualty reported is of Lachman Dravid, whose body was found at 12:00 midnight. Those who were trapped inside include Rohit, and Subhash Chander and a couple of others who have not been identified. Sunil Kumar (Vicky), one of the survivors, and the driver of the factory owner said, that after the fire broke out he was trying to douse it on the first floor with the firemen when suddenly he heard a blast. “When I tried to run out, the building collapsed and I found myself trapped under an almirah and was there till I was rescued.” 

When the factory caught fire nobody was inside. However, later while dousing fire, the fire brigade personnel were entrapped.  Loss of raw and ready material has been estimated to the tune of Rs seven crore. The fire in the building, situated near Suffian Chowk, is said to have started in the upper storey which then spread to the lower levels. The cause of the fire could have been a short circuit. Five fire brigade vehicles were pressed into service and the firemen had a difficult time controlling the fire because of tons of plastic material already aflame. The entire area was engulfed in a cloud of dense smoke bellowing from the factory. Gurdeep Singh Batra, President, Plastic Manufactures and Traders Association (PMTA), has accused the administration of lackadaisical approach. He said that ill-equipped fire brigade was sent to control fire. However, a case has been registered under Section 304-A against the factory owner. The army unit from Dholewal and NDRF teams have been pressed into action since afternoon. 

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