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Eight Rescuers injured in chemical factory fire

LAHORE:Eight rescuers were left injured during a firefighting operation in a chemical factory in Karol Ghatti in Gujarpura on Thursday.

Control Room of Rescue 1122 received a fire call in a chemical godown, “Ahmad Enterprise” at around 9.30am. Rescue teams rushed to the spot and launched a rescue operation. The place of over six marlas had highly inflammable material, thinners and chemicals. Printing work on wrappers of different food and other items was done in the unit. The thinners and chemicals were used for that purpose. In a short span of time, fire spread to almost all sides of the installation and engulfed the whole building.

After sensing the gravity of the situation, all the backup of Lahore Rescue 1122 was called in. At least 12 emergency vehicles and 40 rescuers took part in the operation. While the rescuers were busy in the operation, the building collapsed. As a result, eight rescuers received injuries. One of the injured was a safety officer.

They were shifted to a nearby hospital where doctors said three rescuers had received serious injuries and others minor, said a Rescue 1122 spokesperson. However, the condition of all the rescuers was out of danger. Rescue officials asserted that the building collapsed because it was in a dilapidated condition. Rescue spokesperson quoting the eye-witnesses accounts said that the fire erupted because of sparking in a nearby transformer.

On the other hand, the owner of the building disagreed with the proposition. He commented that lantern of the building fell down because it was damaged due to the heat of the fire in the chemical material.

He said that they were at work in the unit. Nearby electric transformer started sparking. All of a sudden, it caught fire. They used at least 12 drums of fire extinguishers. However, when they could not control the fire, he asked all the workers to leave the place immediately.

He said transformer nearby his working place had been sparking for last few days. They had complained of it to the department concerned. However, they had not taken any concrete measures to sort out the matter. He said they had taken all the measures and building was also intact, in good condition. It collapsed because the temperature inside the establishment had risen up because of fire in chemicals to the level that it damaged lantern. He claimed loss of at least 500 million rupees. According to eye-witnesses accounts, a chemical drum in the factory had caught fire due to sparking in the electric transformer. The fire in it had spread to the other items present inside the godown and eventually the whole building was wrapped up by the fire. The incident created panic in the locality as thick fumes of smoke had covered the sky of the nearby. These could be seen from a large distance.

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