LAHORE: Four labourers were killed and 18 others injured when the roof of a garments factory in Nishter Colony caved in on Friday.

More than 40 labourers were working in morning shift in the factory when its roof collapsed, trapping 25 of them under the debris.

Rescue teams extricated the labourers from the rubble and shifted them to the General Hospital, where doctors pronounced four of them dead.

The deceased were identified as Tariq, 30, Muhammad Ali, 30, Muhammad Boota, 20, and Shahzad, 32.

Relatives of some of the labourers blocked Ferozepur Road to protest against factory owner Rana Aqeel. Police assured the protesters that action would be taken against the factory owner and later registered a case against Aqeel and arrested six people including the factory manager.

A Rescue 1122 official said the factory roof was made of mud and wooden pillars. An injured labourer said the roof collapsed owing to rickety structure which was further weakened by last month’s rains. He said after the heavy rains the workers pleaded to the owner to renovate it but he kept ignoring the demand.

Nishter Colony Station House Officer Asif Zulfiqar said a case had been registered against Rana Aqeel who had gone into hiding. He said two of the injured were in a critical condition.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and sought a report from labour minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2015

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