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Pakistan factory collapses, killing four and trapping dozens

At least four people have died and dozens are trapped underneath rubble after an illegal three-story factory collapsed in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore on Monday.

Lahore pakistan factory 2012 02 06Enlarge
Pakistani rescue workers remove an injured boy from the debris of the collapsed Lahore factory. (ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

At least four people have been killed and dozens trapped in rubble after a three-story factory collapsed in eastern Pakistan on Monday.

A gas explosion inside the factory triggered the collapse, Reuters reported, bringing down two houses beside the factory in a residential area of the city of Lahore.

According to the city’s deputy commissioner, Ahad Cheema, records indicate that 62 people, including women and children, were inside the factory when it collapsed.

However, the explosion occurred shortly after opening hours and reporters say employees may still have been arriving at the premises.

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Nine people have so far been rescued from the rubble, Faheem Jahanzeb, a spokesman for the rescue operation, told CNN.

The factory was illegally manufacturing veterinary medicine, with authorities having shut the business down on three previous occasions, the Associated Press reported.

Local residents said the factory was owned by a local politician who used influence and connections to keep it open despite neighbors’ complaints.

Critics say that building regulations in Pakistan lack teeth and are often not enforced.  

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120206/pakistan-factory-collapses-killing-four