Factory Fires Kill More Than 260 in Pakistan

Posted September 12th, 2012 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Fires broke out at two factories in Pakistan Tuesday, killing more than 260 people.

Pakistani officials say at least 236 people were killed in the southern port city of Karachi when a blaze ripped through a garment factory.

The death toll rose throughout the day Wednesday as authorities pulled more bodies from the charred building. Many of the dead were found in the factory's basement. Police officials say there were no emergency exits.

Injured workers said they were unable to find a way out and jumped out of windows to escape, suffering broken bones. Parts of the building were still smoldering hours after the fire.

A cause of the blaze is not immediately known. Police say they are searching for the factory's owners.

Karachi is Pakistan's most populous city and its commercial hub.

In the eastern city of Lahore, at least 25 people died Tuesday after being trapped inside a shoe factory. Local officials say the blaze was caused by a faulty generator.

It took fire crews several hours to bring the fire under control and rescue workers trapped inside the burning building.

The incidents raised fresh concerns of workplace safety in Pakistan.

Following the Karachi fire, ministers in Sindh province ordered inspections for all factories in the province.