miércoles, 27 de febrero de 2013

More Than 300 Killed in Pakistani Factory Fires

KARACHI, Pakistan — Fire ravaged a textile factory complex in the commercial hub of Karachi early Wednesday, killing almost 300 workers trapped behind locked doors and raising questions about the woeful lack of regulation in a vital sector of Pakistan's faltering economy. It was Pakistan's worst industrial accident, officials said, and it came just hours after another fire, at a shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore, had killed at least 25. Flames and smoke swept the cramped textile factory in Baldia Town, a northwestern industrial suburb, creating panic among the hundreds of poorly paid workers who had been making undergarments and plastic tools. They had few options of escape — every exit but one had been locked, officials said, and the windows were mostly barred. In desperation, some flung themselves from the top floors of the four-story building, sustaining serious injuries or worse, witnesses said. But many others failed to make it that far, trapped by an inferno that advanced mercilessly through a building that officials later described as a death trap. Rescue workers said most of the victims died of smoke inhalation, and many of the survivors sustained third-degree burns. As firefighters advanced into the wreckage during the day, battling back flames, they found dozens of bodies clumped together on the lower floors. One survivor, Muhammad Aslam, said he heard two loud blasts before the factory filled first with smoke, then with the desperate screams of his <b>...</b>
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