Nine killed in Himachal factory fire, rescue operation over

June 4th, 2009 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Nalagarh (Himachal Pradesh), June 4 (IANS) The death toll in Wednesday’s fire in a factory in this Himachal Pradesh town rose to nine as the body of an employee was recovered Thursday, police said.
“This morning the body of the lone missing employee of Advantec Ltd was recovered from the debris,” Sumedha Dwivedi, senior superintendent of police (Baddi), told IANS.

She said nine people were killed and 19 injured in the incident. Those dead included seven company employees and two fire brigade personnel, who were buried after a wall collapsed while they were trying to control the flames, she said.

“The fire is still smouldering in the factory premises as large amount of combustible material had been stored in the multi-storey building,” she said.

The rescue operations were called off Thursday.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who visited the spot Wednesday evening, has ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked authorities to submit the probe report as early as possible.

Nalagarh town, an industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh, is around 120 km from the state capital.

The fire broke out in the air conditioner manufacturing factory in the wee hours Wednesday. Fire tenders were called from the neighbouring towns of Baddi, Parwanoo and Ropar town in Punjab.

At the time of the incident, 49 employees were on duty in the factory, which has about 500 employees.

Police official Dwivedi said a case was registered against the company’s owner Gurinder Pal Singh of Delhi.

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