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Geopolitics

Two Factory Fires Kill More Than 190 In Pakistan's Two Largest Cities

DAWN (Pakistan), TIMES OF INDIA (India), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)

Worldcrunch

KARACHIAt least 191 people were killed in two separate factory fires in the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore.

Officials said Wednesday that 166 people where killed after a fire broke out in a factory in the coastal megalopolis of Karachi, and dozens of workers were hurt as they jumped out of windows.

Some 150 employees were working in the underwear manufacturing factory when the fire broke out late Tuesday, reports Pakistani daily Dawn.

Some 40 firefighting vehicles were needed to tackle the blaze and police said they were investing the cause of the fire. (See video below)

It is the most deadly industrial disaster in decades to hit the city of Karachi, which has a population approaching 20 million, adds the Times of India.

Earlier in the day, a fire swept through a four-story shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore, killing at least 25 workers.

It broke out when workers tried to start their generator after a power failure. Sparks from the generator made contact with chemicals used to make the shoes, igniting the blaze, reports Al Jazeera.

The factory was illegally set up in a residential part of the city and the main escape route was blocked, trapping many of the workers who died by suffocation.

In a statement, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf expressed shock and grief over the deaths in Pakistan"s two largest cities.

Factory fires are common in the country as most buildings lack fire alarms or emergency exits.

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