Rescuers said today they are still searching for eight child workers among dozens still believed trapped in the rubble of a pharmaceutical factory in Lahore which collapsed after a gas explosion on Monday.
Hopes of finding further survivors from the disaster which has so far claimed 21 lives received a boost earlier today when a 30-year-old worker who had been trapped for 47 hours was pulled from the rubble.
“He said there were children’s voices from inside. However they later stopped”, said Farooq Ahmad, an emergency services spokesman.
“We are trying to locate them using scanning equipment and made three tunnels in the rubble. Cranes are now picking rubble from other areas where we only expect to find bodies,” he added.
The three-storey building belonging to the Orient Lab pharmaceutical company collapsed on Monday morning, along with three nearby houses after a gas cylinder exploded in the basement of the factory.
The manager has been arrested and police are looking for the factory owners who are suspected of violating several labor and safety laws.
Media reports say more than 300 illegal small factories are operating in residential areas across the city. Human rights organizations say most of them use child labor and ignore safety measures.