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Regional

Nine employees of factory ablaze still missing in Himachal's Baddi

IANS | February 03, 2024 01:59 PM

SHIMLA: Nine employees of a perfume manufacturing factory have been missing after a massive ablaze broke out on Friday in Himachal Pradesh’s industrial hub Baddi, officials said on Saturday.

The fire in factory N.R. Aroma started around 1.30 p.m. on Friday and the work of extinguishing the fire is still going on in the factory located at Jhar Majri.

Thirty workers have been injured in the fire, as per official record and one of them died. A total of 85 employees were trapped.

The owner of the factory, Chander Shekhar, has been arrested. The government has ordered a magisterial probe into the disaster.

The police in a statement on Saturday said about 12 fire-tenders from Himachal, Haryana, Punjab and local industries were pressed into service to control the fire.

An FIR has been registered at the Police Station of Barotiwala under Sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu, who visited the spot, announced the formation of the SIT to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. It will include the Additional Superintendent of Police, Ashok Verma, Deputy Superintendent of Police Khazana Ram and the Station House Officer Sanjay Sharma.

“The police are currently conducting an urgent search for nine individuals reported missing following the fire. As per the investigation so far, 85 persons were in the factory at the time of the fire and 30 have been admitted in various hospitals with injuries, one female was brought dead to the PGI in Chandigarh and the rest are reported safe, ” said the police.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is currently assessing the structural safety of the site and working to clear it of hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide, said the police.

Following the clearance, a HP Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) team will conduct a spot inspection and collect necessary evidence.

Given the complex nature of the fire, the DGP has requested the state government for assistance from the Central forensic science team of the Centre.

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