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Six workers die in factory boiler explosion

Six workers die in factory boiler explosion

GUJRANWALA: At least six workers were killed and 17 others suffered burn injuries when the boiler of a factory exploded and its roof caved in near Ghakkhar town on the GT Road on Saturday.

The proprietor of the factory, the boiler operator and a clerk were arrested.

The factory, Al Badar 313, manufactured cattle fodder, chicken feed and corn oil with around 75 workers employed in shifts.

The boiler exploded at about 12.30pm and the factory’s roof caved in on the workers.

Officials of Rescue 1122, police and the district administration retrieved the bodies and the injured from the rubble and took them to the district headquarters hospital.

Muhammad Shahbaz, Amir and Amanat Ali were killed on the spot, while Liaquat Ali, Abdul Rashid and another injured died in Mayo Hospital, Lahore, where they had been sent because of lack of a burns unit here.

The DHQ Hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr Anwar Aman, said all the injured had been sent to Mayo Hospital.

Cantonment Police SHO Ansar Mohal told Dawn that factory proprietor Shoaib Cheema, clerk Riaz Ahmad and boiler operator Imran had been arrested.

Retired major Altaf Hussain Cheema owns the factory.

According to the factory’s workers, the boiler was checked every month by an inspector and had been declared fit.

The operator said there was no technical fault in the boiler and it exploded because of high temperature.

The workers said they did not hear the boiler’s alarm that usually started ringing when it heated up.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2015

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