Five dead in Himachal factory fire (Lead)

June 3rd, 2009 - 4:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Nalagarh (Himachal Pradesh), June 3 (IANS) Five people, including two fire brigade personnel, died in a fire that broke out due to a suspected electric short-circuit in a factory in this Himachal Pradesh town Wednesday, police said.
At least four workers of the factory, which manufactures air-conditions, were missing and a police officer feared that if they were trapped inside the premises they would be dead.

The “fire broke out in the factory named Advantec group in the wee hours Wednesday. Fire tenders were called from the neighbouring towns of Baddi, Parwanoo and even from Ropar town in Punjab,” Sumedha Dwivedi, senior superintendent of police (Baddi), told IANS.

“According to confirmed reports, five persons have been killed that include two fire brigade officials,” who were buried after a wall collapsed while they were controlling the flames, Dwivedi said.

“The other three dead are factory workers who were there on the night shift,” she said.

Fourteen people suffered serious burn injuries, she said. The injured were admitted to Nalagarh’s general hospital. Five were referred to Chandigarh.

At the time of the incident, 49 employees were on duty in the factory.

Nalagarh town, an industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh, is around 60 km from the union territory of Chandigarh.

The fire was brought under control by noon Wednesday but the police officer said smoke was still billowing out of the basement area.

Fire fighters “are facing difficulty due to the presence of combustible material and highly inflammable gases,” Dwivedi said.

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