Factory collapse in Pakistan kills 18, traps 150 people

Rescue operations continue in eastern Pakistan as factory collapse leaves at least 18 dead and about 150 trapped under rubble

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Factory collapse in Savar, an industrial suburb of Dhaka, the capital city, April 2013

At least 18 people have been killed on Wednesday in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore after a multi-story factory collapsed, up to 150 workers are still believed to be trapped under the rubble said officials.
Emergency service workers have so far rescued about 40 wounded people and are continuing efforts to dig for survivors, reported Mohammed Younis Bhatti, an information officer with Edhi Rescue Services.
The emergency service expressed concern over the lives of the 150 trapped workers as the use of heavy construction machinery in rescue operation is believed to possibly injure the survivors.  

A Pakistani military spokesman wrote in a text message that urban search and rescue teams have been flown to the area in order to take part in the rescue operations.

"Army engineers have been immediately moved for the rescue operation," said the message.
Nearby hospitals have called for a state of emergency in order to deal with the anticipated influx of wounded from the scene.

The factory, located at an industrial site about 20 km (12 miles) south of Lahore, manufactured shopping bags.

There have been no official reports on the cause of the collapse however, it has been reported that there was ongoing construction in the building.

The construction industry in Pakistan often suffers from poor project management and builders regularly flout building codes.
Two industrial disasters in September 2012 killed over 300 people as a fire in a garment factory in the southern city of Karachi left 289 people burnt to death, while a fire occurred on the same day at a shoe factory in Lahore killed 25 people. 

TRTWorld and agencies