Ludhiana, The Hush Post: With five bodies recovered in the morning from under the rubble, a total of 11 bodies have been pulled out since yesterday from under the collapsed five-storey plastic manufacturing unit — Amarson Polymers at Industrial Area A.

Four dead had been identified yesterday including 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 identified in the morning are firemen Rajan, Vishal, Sandeep Singh, Amarjot Singh, Baldev, Dhan Bahadur, and Kanhaiya. The rescue operation was still on at the time of the filing of this report.

The incident had taken place yesterday in the morning when the five-storey factory caught fire and subsequently collapsed. About one dozen persons were buried under the rubble. 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 Manufacturers’ 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 are in action since yesterday.

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