SHIMLA/SOLAN: Two more bodies were recovered on Sunday from a Solan-based factory where a massive fire broke out nine days ago, while a search was underway for three missing workers, according to officials.
With the recoveries, the death toll in the incident at the perfume manufacturing factory in Himachal Pradesh's Baddi Industrial Area has risen to seven, they said.
Debris of parts of the factory that collapsed during the fire are being removed to find the missing workers, officials said, adding that personnel of several agencies, including the NDRF, the SDRF and the police, are engaged in the search operation and removal of large quantities of chemicals.
Both the bodies were recovered from the second floor of the factory and sent to the Nalagarh Civil Hospital for postmortem, they said.
Officials said that though they have the names of those who were missing and whose bodies were recovered on Sunday, identity would be ascertained through DNA matching.
For the process, samples of family members will be used, they said.
Baddi Superintendent of Police (SP) Ilma Afroz confirmed the recovery of the bodies and told PTI that chemicals in huge quantities are being taken out from the factory complex.
Besides the police, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), officials said, personnel of the pollution, public works and health departments are also engaged in operations.
Two people -- Chander Shekhar, the factory head of N R Aromas Company, and Vinod Bilwa -- have been arrested in connection with the February 2 fire, in which 37 people were also injured.
They were arrested after an FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 285 (negligence), 336 (endangering life), 337 (causing hurt) and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), according to police.
Police said a special investigation team (SIT), which is probing the case, is conducting searches to apprehend the factory's owners against whom non-bailable warrants have been issued.
During his visit to the factory on February 7, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had said that negligence and violations of norms would be probed and industrial laws would be amended suitably to prevent recurrence of such accidents.
Industry Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan had constituted a joint task force of various departments to carry out a safety audit of all factories in the Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) industrial belt following the incident.
There were violations of norms related to fire and labour safety, and the incident occurred due to criminal negligence of the company, he had said.
Of the five bodies recovered earlier, four were identified while one was not.
The deceased were Pinki, Rahnuma, Shashi and Rakhi.
Champo, Kajal, Kajal Bharti, Kalpana and Vijay Dubey were missing and the bodies of two of them were recovered on Sunday.