No More Screams of Help from Under the Rubble, 31 Bodies Recovered
LAHORE: So far thirty one bodies have been recovered from a factory whose roof caved-on Wednesday in the industrial area of Lahore.
The Rescuers still struggle as total number of people under the rubble remain undetermined. Locals and witnesses proclaim around 170 people to be inside the premise when the incident occured.
Around 105 people are said to have been rescued among which 51 were sent to the Jinnah Hospital and Sharif Hospital where they received emergency medical treatment.
With the current calculations there might be another 40-50 people that need rescuring.
Anguished relative await their loved ones to be recovered from the rubble.
Armymen and local administration rescuers in Lahore were carefully cutting through steel and using cranes to lift the debris of the building in a bid to find people still alive, but for the hours gone by it would take a miracle only for them to be alive.
Medics had to amputate one man's leg on the site before rushing him to hospital.
“One of his legs was trapped in such a way that it was not possible to retrieve him with both legs,” an official who did not want to be named told AFP. “We had no other option.”
Factory employee Mohammad Navid said dozens of shift workers may have been sleeping in a part of the building that rescuers had not yet reached, and children as young as 12 had been working in the factory.
A list of the injured from one of the three hospitals the wounded were shifted to, however, showed three 15-year-olds as the youngest patients listed.
Another employee, 18-year-old Mohammad Irfan, told AFP from his hospital bed that the workers were “mostly” aged between 14 and 25.
The incident occurred at the four-storey Rajput Polyester polythene bag factory in Sundar Industrial Estate when its under-construction roof collapsed.
Three cranes, a bulldozer and more than 40 emergency rescue vehicles were working at the site, a rescue official said.
Several labourers told news channels that the building had developed cracks during the quake, but the factory's owner pressed ahead with construction of a fourth storey.
“We told the owner to build additional pillars before beginning the fourth floor but he took no notice of it,” one labourer said.
A labourer, Rafique said that they were busy in construction work on the fourth floor when the building collapsed.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the site and said it was possible the building had been damaged after the October 26 earthquake.
He announced a compensation of Rs0.5 million for the heirs of the labourers who died in this unfortunate accident.
Rescue services spokesman Jam Sajjad Hussain said on Thursday it was “difficult” to give a specific number, but said workers had told officials that around 200 people had been inside at the time of the collapse, including the owner.
“Rescue work is ongoing and I fear that the death toll may increase,” he said.
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