Lahore: At least 23 people were killed and about 100 others remain trapped under tonnes of debris from a partially-constructed bag-manufacturing factory that collapsed here, officials said Thursday.
Over 100 survivors were pulled out by rescuers from the rubble of a rubble of a four-storey Rajpoot Polyester polythene bag factory which collapsed in the Sundar industrial Estate area yesterday during its expansion work.
A rescue official said the search and rescue operation went on non-stop as part of efforts to find survivors still trapped.
"We found 23 dead bodies from the collapsed building," he said, adding that another 102 injured were recovered and shifted to hospitals, where several of them were in critical condition.
It is believed that about 100 people are still trapped in the fallen building. With the passage of time, the chances of survival of victims are getting dim.
Noting that the focus of the operation was on the search for survivors, a top administration official said that 102 people had been rescued.
He said rescuers were using audio and video technology during the search operation.
Relatives have expressed anger over the slow pace of rescue work. TV footage showed hapless relatives crying for support.
Factory owner Rana Ashraf was also killed in the incident, Geo TV reported.
Known as Rajpoot Industry, the facility was used to manufacture polythene bags and part of the building was under construction with dozens of workers employed.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the place to monitor the rescue operation. He ordered probe into the collapse and promised to take action if human element including negligence was involved in the accident.
The factory may have suffered structural damage in the October 26 quake, he said.
Army was also called in during the night as officials scrambled to clear the site. The army said specialists were deployed at the spot to help the rescue effort.
Soldiers and rescuers were busy lifting the debris of the collapsed-structure, less than two weeks after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake jolted the nation, killing nearly 400 people across Pakistan and Afghanistan.