LUDHIANA: The death toll in the building collapse of a plastic factory in Ludhiana, in Punjab, has risen to 10, an official said here on Tuesday.
The five-storeyed building, located in a congested part of the Industrial area near Cheema Chowk, had collapsed on Monday afternoon following a powerful blast triggered by a major fire in the building earlier.
The official said that 20-25 people, including officials of the fire department and municipal corporation, were feared trapped inside the building after it collapsed.
The official also said that 10 bodies have been recovered from the debris of the building and rescue operations continued through the night (Monday-Tuesday).
While three bodies were recovered on Monday evening, more bodies were recovered in the night.
"The rescue operation will continue today (Tuesday). There are some people still trapped inside," a senior district officer told media.
Teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), Army, Punjab Police, Fire Department and a local NGO were engaged in rescuing those trapped.
Two people, who were pulled out of the debris alive were admitted to a hospital.
Police Commissioner R.N. Dhoke said the trapped officials had gone inside the building for inspection after it caught fire on Monday morning.
Chemicals and plastic material stored in Amarson Polymers stoked the fire, he said.
At least 15 fire tenders were rushed to the spot which finally brought the fire under control after nearly six hours on Monday.
People living nearby were asked to vacate the area as a precautionary measure.
Officials said that a few other buildings and houses in the vicinity of the collapsed building were also damaged.
The factory was located in an industrial-cum-residential area of Ludhiana.