Pakistan factory collapses, killing at least 18, scores trapped

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150 Feared Trapped in Pakistan Factory Collapse

At least 18 people were killed and up to 150 trapped on Wednesday when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, officials said, adding to a number of industrial disasters to hit the South Asian nation.

Rescue workers digging for survivors with construction equipment have recovered 75 injured people so far, said Mohammad Usman, a senior local government official who was on the scene.

Eighteen dead bodies have also been found, he said.

SEE MORE: Death toll reaches 311 in quake-hit Pakistani, Afghan areas

Around 150 people were feared trapped under the rubble after the building collapsed, said rescue worker Kashif Nazir at the scene.

No part of the four-floor building remained standing after the disaster, and hundreds of rescue workers were carefully picking through piles of concrete and bricks to find survivors.

"People have received phone calls from three or four people from inside the debris, so we cannot remove the rubble recklessly," said Usman.

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Pakistan factory collapses, killing at least 18, scores trapped
Pakistani rescuers remove a victim from the rubble of a collapsed factory on the outskirts of Lahore on November 4, 2015. At least 16 people were killed and 40 injured when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 4, officials said, with around a hundred more still trapped. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani policemen and rescuers search the victims in the rubble of a collapsed factory on the outskirts of Lahore on November 4, 2015. At least 16 people were killed and 40 injured when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 4, officials said, with around a hundred more still trapped. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani rescuers move a victim through the rubble of a collapsed factory on the outskirts of Lahore on November 4, 2015. At least 16 people were killed and 40 injured when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 4, officials said, with around a hundred more still trapped. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
A Pakistani soldier and rescuers move a victim through the rubble of a collapsed factory on the outskirts of Lahore on November 4, 2015. At least 16 people were killed and 40 injured when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 4, officials said, with around a hundred more still trapped. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani rescuers gives water to a survivor who was rescued from under the rubble of a collapsed factory on the outskirts of Lahore on November 4, 2015. At least 16 people were killed and 40 injured when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 4, officials said, with around a hundred more still trapped. AFP PHOTO /ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
Pakistani rescuers move a victim through the rubble of a collapsed factory on the outskirts of Lahore on November 4, 2015. At least 16 people were killed and 40 injured when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on November 4, officials said, with around a hundred more still trapped. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
A man comforts a family member of a factory worker buried in rubbles after the building collapsed in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The factory building under construction in an industrial area on the outskirts of Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore collapsed on Wednesday, killing many workers and injuring dozens, officials said. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
A Pakistani volunteer tries to rescue a trapped man following the collapse of a building in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The factory building under construction in an industrial area on the outskirts of Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore collapsed on Wednesday, killing many workers and injuring dozens, officials said. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
Volunteers move an injured person to hospital following the collapse of a building in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The factory building under construction in an industrial area on the outskirts of Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore collapsed on Wednesday, killing many workers and injuring dozens, officials said. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
Pakistan rescue workers carry a victim to an ambulance at the site of a collapsed building in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. The factory building under construction in an industrial area on the outskirts of Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore collapsed on Wednesday, killing many workers and injuring dozens, officials said. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
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The military was flying urban search-and-rescue teams to the scene, said a military spokesman in a text message.

"Army engineers have been immediately moved for the rescue operation," the message said.

The factory, located at an industrial site about 20 km (12 miles) south of the city, manufactured shopping bags. It was not clear what caused the collapse, though construction work had been going on there.

"My son is a daily wage laborer here. We can't find him among the dead or the injured, so I am just hoping that he will be recovered from the rubble safely," said Mohammad Ramzan, whose 24-year-old son Amin was missing.

Pakistan's construction sector suffers from poor oversight and developers frequently flout building codes.

In September 2012, 289 people burned to death in a fire at a garment factory in the southern city of Karachi. On the same day, a fire at a shoe factory in Lahore killed 25.

(Writing by Asad Hashim; editing by Gareth Jones)

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