PM seeks report on Onida factory fire, Centre for safety audit

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has sought a report on the fire incident at an Onida factory in Uttarakhand that has claimed 10 lives, even as the Centre asked the Khanduri government to order safety audit of all factories in the hill state.

"The Prime Minister has sought a report on the blaze. I will prepare the report and submit to him," Union Minister Harish Rawat, who represent Haridwar Lok Sabha constituency where the incident took place, said.

Rawat said the Centre has asked the Uttarkhand government to conduct a safety audit of all the factories in the state.

"We think that safety standards in most of the factories are in poor conditions. So we have asked the state government to order safety audit of all the factories in the state," Rawat told PTI from Haridwar after visiting the site of the fire in Mandawali area.

Rawat said he has written a letter to state Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar for the purpose of safety audit.

An identical letter has been sent to DGFASLI, a government-controlled technical agency, which carries safety audits, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs said.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the factory today reached 10 with the recovery of one more body. Nine bodies were yesterday recovered from the site.

Sunil Jham, assistant general manager of the factory, was among those killed in the fire, Manglaur Deputy Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Pandey said. A DNA test will be conducted to establish the identify of the bodies which are charred beyond recognition.

The fire, which broke out Wednesday evening, has now been doused, Manglaur Deputy Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Pandey said.

A rescue operation is still continuing in the factory premises, Pandey said, adding that one factory employee is still missing. The exact cause of the fire has not been ascertained as of now, the officer said.

Police has filed a case against factory owner Mirk Chandani and General Manager Sudhir Mahindra in connection with the fire incident.

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