India: 12 dead in a cotton factory blast
At least 12 workers were killed Wednesday when part of a chemical warehouse collapsed following a powerful blast in western India, officials said.
Twelve bodies have been recovered from the warehouse of a cotton factory on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, a key city in Gujarat state, National Disaster Response Force spokesman Krishan Kumar said on Wednesday.
Nine other people were injured.
“The death toll has increased to 12 which includes five women. Nine people are injured and undergoing treatment in hospital,” a fire control room duty officer told AFP.
Witness told reporters that the explosion ripped apart the walls of the building, including a textile facility that operated from the complex.
Ahmadabad chief fire officer M. F. Dastur said a preliminary investigation suggested the explosion was triggered by a fire in a chemical store, and the blast left the building in a pile of rubble.
Twenty-four fire engines and more than 50 firefighters extinguished the blaze after several hours, the fire control room said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also commented on the explosion saying “Anguished by the loss of lives due to a fire in a godown (warehouse) in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families,”
Authorities were providing all possible assistance to those affected, Mr. Modi said.
India is frequently rocked by industrial disasters that experts blame on poor planning and lax enforcement of safety rules.