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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pakistan garment factory fire nearly 300 dead

Update: The toll from the fire has risen to 289, a local official says The building could collapse at any time, another official says Dozens of people may still be trapped in the factory's basement Fire officials say they don't yet know the cause of the fire.

 Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 289 people were killed in a fire that swept through a garment factory overnight in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, a local official said Wednesday.
The toll from the fire, which continued to burn Wednesday, is expected to rise, Commissioner Roshan Ali Shaikh, Karachi's top administrative official, said in a phone interview with CNN affiliate Geo TV.
A child is among the dead, and at least 25 people have been injured, said Zakir Khan of the Karachi Fire Department. All the victims were employees of the factory, he said.
Firefighters were trying to bring the blaze under control, Khan said, but their task was made more difficult because they couldn't enter several portions of the weakened building.
Karachi factory blaze kills 289
The building might collapse any time because the fire heavily damaged parts of its steel structure, said Mustafa Jamal, a senior government official in Baldia Town, the area of Karachi where the factory is situated.
Dozens of people may be trapped in the basement of the building, according to Khan. An operation is under way to try to rescue them.
Jamal said between 400 and 500 people were in the factory as the fire burned. Several trapped workers jumped from upper floors.
Officials say they don't know the cause of the fire.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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