GUJRANWALA: A ceramic factory roof collapsed following a gas cylinder explosion near Gujranwala's Sheikhupura road on Wednesday. At least 28 injured people were recovered from beneath the debris.
Those injured in the incident have been shifted to District Headquarters Hospital. Five of the injured are said to be in critical condition, DawnNews reported.
Around 35 people are believed to have been buried under the rubble.
Following the blast, rescue teams, the fire brigade, volunteers, district administration officials and senior police officials reached the affected area and began relief efforts.
Pakistan has seen some of the most horrific industrial disasters in recent history ─ one of the most recent being the collapse of the the four-storey Rajput Polyester Factory in Lahore's Sundar Industrial Estate on Nov 4, 2015.
Injuries sustained during such accidents can be prevented ─ or their severity minimised to a large degree ─ if certain safety checks and procedures are put in place.
Shortly after the Sundar factory collapse in which at least 46 workers were killed and more than 103 injured, the National Disaster Management Authority proposed that non-compliance of the Pakistan Engineering Council’s (PEC) Building Code-2007 should become a punishable offence.
According to the code, it was proposed that all new buildings should be constructed to bear earthquakes with a magnitude of nine. However, it is being considered that the capacity for new buildings should be fixed at 10.
Due to frequent fire incidents in major cities, the PEC has also been tasked to prepare a fire safety code and incorporate it into its building code.
Following the move, cases were registered under terrorism, murder and attempt to murder against factory owner Rana Ashraf, the building’s architects Tahir and Munir, structure engineers Ahmad Riaz and Muhammad Husain and the two architects were arrested.