At least 18 Indians were feared to have been among the 23 people killed in an LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in Sudan, the Indian mission in Khartoum said on Wednesday. More than 130 people were injured. Sources in Delhi said that there were 68 Indian workers at the factory. External Affairs minister S Jaishankar said a representative from the Indian embassy in Khartoum had rushed to the spot.
Sixteen Indians were missing after the incident that took place at Seela Ceramic Factory in the Bahri area of Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, on Tuesday.
“As per latest reports, but so far not confirmed officially, 18 are dead,” the Indian embassy said in a release.
“Some of the missing may be in the list of dead which we are still to receive as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt,” it added.
The embassy on Wednesday issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy.
As per its data, seven people were hospitalised, with four in critical condition.
Thirty four Indians who survived were accommodated at the Saloomi Ceramics Factory residence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the incident. “Anguished by the blast in a ceramic factory in Sudan, where some Indian workers have lost their lives and some are injured. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured. Our embassy is providing all possible assistance to those affected,” he tweeted.
Jaishankar tweeted, “Have just received the tragic news of a major blast in a ceramic factory… in the Bahri area of the capital Khartoum in Sudan. Deeply grieved to learn that some Indian workers have lost their lives while some others have been seriously injured. The embassy representative has rushed to the site. A 24-hour emergency hotline
+249-921917471 has been set up by the Indian embassy in Khartoum. Our prayers are with the workers and their families.”
An AFP report quoted the Sudanese government saying that 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured in the incident, which, according to preliminary reports, indicate that necessary safety equipment was missing at the site.