PESHAWAR, 5 November: At least 18 labourers were killed and several others sustained injuries when an under construction factory building collapsed in Lahore on Wednesday evening.

Eighteen bodies were recovered till late night, while dozens others were still trapped under the debris. Rescuers said the death toll may increase further. They said more than 100 people have been rescued from under the debris.

Rescue 1122 spokesman Jam Sajjad said the four-storey plastic bags manufacturing factory collapsed when construction work was under way in the fourth storey. He said over a hundred people are still trapped under the debris and efforts are under way to rescue them.

The injured labourers were taken to Jinnah Hospital and Sharif Hospital where they are being given emergency medical treatment. Doctors said the condition of some of the injured was critical.

The Pakistan Army personnel also took part in the rescue operation.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif told media persons at the site that the building might have been damaged in the October 26 earthquake. He said the owner was doing extension work in the factory despite its weak condition. He announced compensation of Rs500,000 each for the heirs of the labourers who died in the accident.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the health authorities to provide free of cost treatment to the injured.

Compiled from media reports

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