Lahore, Feb 6: Ten people, including three women and two children, were killed and about 50 others feared trapped in rubble in Pakistan's Punjab province after a building in a residential area here collapsed following a boiler explosion today, officials said.
Rescue officials said 10 bodies had been pulled out of the debris of the three-storey building at Multan Road in the provincial capital Lahore that housed a factory making veterinary medicines.
Some 50 people, including women and children, were still trapped inside, said Farooq Ahmed, an official of the state-run Rescue 1122 service.
Ahmed said rescue workers had pulled 14 people out of the rubble and shifted them to Jinnah Hospital.
He said 120 officials of the rescue service and a large number of personnel from the district administration were taking part in the rescue operation.
“We are not sure how many we will manage to rescue alive. As time passes, we fear there will be more casualties,” Ahmed said.
Lahore district administration chief Ahad Cheema said the factory owned by Orient Private Limited was sealed sometime ago and a case against the firm was pending in court.
“We will investigate how the firm managed to make the factory functional after it was sealed,” he said.
Cheema further said: “We will also look into the violation of child labour laws as a large number of children were working in the factory.”
Officials said a 12-year-old boy was among the dead. Police officials said they had raided the homes of the owners of the company - Sheikh Zafar and Sheikh Zaheer - but they had fled with their families.