LAHORE: Two dead bodies were pulled out while more than 60 people are still trapped inside debris of a three-story factory building which collapsed after a cylinder blast, SAMAA reports.
Initial reports say more than 70 people were present in the factory located in a residential area at Multan Road when it collapsed, possibly because of a gas cylinder explosion inside it.
A Rescue 1122 official told SAMAA that two bodies have so far been pulled out of the rubble and at least 10 injured people, most of them young children and women, rescued.
The survivors, including a 10-year-old boy and four women, were shifted to Jinnah and Sheikh Zayed hospitals, more than 15 kms from the incident site.
Fearing that the death toll may rise, officials said a gas cylinder explosion could have caused the disaster.
Thermal imaging devices and movement detectors are being used by the rescuers engaged in the operation being carried out carefully after detecting few survivors inside the debris, SAMAA reported.
Cranes were called to remove the rubble but authorities were having trouble getting heavy rescue machinery to the area because of narrow streets, while rescue teams were making hectic efforts to reach the trapped people.
"The factory has completely collapsed and two houses next to it as well," an emergency official at the site told SAMAA.
Some witnesses say up to 150 people normally worked at the factory used to manufacture veterinary injections.
Deputy Commissioner Lahore, Ahad Cheema says it may take time to remove the entire debris and recover the trapped people.
Cheema said the factory was illegally set up in the residential area.
“Authorities had previously closed the factory three times, but each time it reopened, despite complaints from the neighbors,” he said. SAMAA