NEW DELHI, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The death toll in Monday's fire at a plastics factory in northern Indian state of Punjab has risen to 13, officials said Wednesday.
The fire engulfed the factory at Mushtaq Nagar in the industrial city of Ludhiana, some 100 km from Punjab capital Chandigarh, and an explosion led to its collapse Monday afternoon when more than 50 firefighters were trying to douse the flames.
"With the recovery of more bodies from under the debris of the three-storied factory building, the toll in the incident now stands at 13. The dead included a few firemen," Ludhiana's deputy commissioner of police, Dhruman Nimble, told the media.
Punjab's Chief Minister Amarinder Singh visited the spot Tuesday and announced compensation for the family of all the victims, including the firemen who lost their lives while dousing the raging fire, and announced a high-level probe into the incident.
"Strict action would be initiated against any officer found guilty of dereliction of duty or lapse of any kind, leading to the fire," the chief minister told the media.
Factory fires are common in Punjab, mainly due to lack of adherence to fire safety norms and laxity of authorities in ensuring the same. Despite hue and cries every time a fire breaks out, no concrete action has been taken by authorities yet.