May 4, 2009 12:01:42 am
Many workers still missing; case filed against factory owner
The toll in Fridays Lakhani factory fire went up to ten on Sunday with four more workers succumbing to their burn injuries.
Pramod and Narender,who were admitted to the Sarvodaya Hospital in Faridabad and Delhis Safdarjung Hospital,respectively,with up to 90 per cent burns,died on Sunday morning.
Parshuram and Devender Singh Mehra,admitted in Safdarjung,died in the evening.
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Another patient,Sumit Singh,is reported to be in an extremely critical condition. Patients admitted to Safdarjung had been listed as critical since the time they were referred to the hospital on Friday night.
Several workers are,meanwhile,reportedly missing. Umesh Kumar,who came from Ballabhgarh looking for his cousins at the Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday,said: Sanjay and Nitin have been missing since Friday,along with their friend Gaurav Bhatia. The police are not letting us go to the factory and look for them. No one knows anything about my cousins.
After the police handed over Pramods body to his family,a group staged a protest outside the Lakhani factory in Sector 24,demanding compensation and a speedy inquiry by the police. A delegation of the workers union also met A C Chaudhary,Minister for Urban Local Bodies,in Faridabad.
The police are yet to ascertain the identities of three completely charred bodies. These have been sent for a DNA test.
Though the district police have ruled out a boiler blast as the cause of the fire,an inquiry will be conducted by a team of forensic experts from the Karnal-based Madhuban Forensic Science Laboratory.
Representatives of the factory management,however,concurred with the factory workers allegation that a boiler blast was to blame for the fire.
A case of negligence has been filed against the factory owner,P D Lakhani,who is reportedly at large.
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