Pakistan ends search for factory victims

  • 11/11/2015
Around 1000 rescuers took part in the search and rescue (Reuters)
Around 1000 rescuers took part in the search and rescue (Reuters)

A rescue operation to pull people from the rubble of a collapsed Pakistani factory has ended after nearly a week, with the death toll at 45 and more than 100 survivors plucked from the debris.

The four-storey Rajput Polyester polythene bag factory came crashing down on November 4, with officials saying it may have suffered structural damage when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan and Afghanistan last month.

"The search for bodies or any survivors was concluded this morning and we believe that there is no-one in the remaining debris," Arshad Zia, chief of rescue services, told AFP.

"The search operation lasted for 131 hours and we did searches from multiple angles repeatedly. The final body count is 45 and more than 100 were pulled alive," Zia said.

Some 1000 rescuers from Punjab province, the capital Islamabad and the armed forces took part in the search and rescue, he added.

The accident, which took place near the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, has underscored poor safety standards in the underdeveloped South Asian country of 200 million.