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18 Indians killed in factory fire in Sudan

Smoke rises following a ceramics factory explosion in Khartoum on December 4, 2019.

Smoke rises following a ceramics factory explosion in Khartoum on December 4, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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At least 18 Indians were among 23 people killed in an LPG tanker blast that destroyed a ceramic factory in Sudan, the Indian mission said here on Wednesday. Over 130 were injured.

Sixteen Indians were missing after the incident at the Seela Ceramic Factory in Bahri area in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday. “As per latest reports, but so far not confirmed officially, 18 are dead,” the Indian Embassy said.

“A 24-hour emergency hotline +249-921917471 has been set up by @EoI_Khartoum. Our prayers are with the workers and their families,” External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted.

He said 60 Indians were employed in the factory and 53 of them were said to have been present at the site.

Seven Indians have been hospitalised, with four in critical condition. Thirty-four Indians survived the blast, as per the details released by the Indian Embassy on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by the Sudanese government, the blast triggered fire in an industrial area because of which 23 people were killed.

“Preliminary observations indicate a lack of safety measures and equipment at the factory, in addition to random storage of flammable materials,” a statement issued by the Sudanese government said.

An investigation has been launched, it added.

Meanwhile, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, now on a visit to the U.S., expressed his condolences for the victims and said that preliminary reports indicate the absence of necessary safety tools.

“The random storage of flammable materials contributed to the continuation and expansion of the fire and the destruction of the factory completely,” he said in a statement from Washington.

“The Council of Ministers will form a committee of inquiry to determine the responsibilities and avoid the recurrence of such unfortunate incidents in the future,” he was quoted as saying by Sudan Tribune portal.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 7:34:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/several-indians-killed-in-factory-fire-in-sudan/article30163889.ece

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