One dead, nine employees of factory still missing in Himachal fire

Nine employees of a perfume manufacturing factory have been missing after a massive blaze broke out on Friday in Himachal Pradesh’s industrial hub Baddi, officials said on Saturday.

The fire in the factory of N.R. Aroma started at around 1.30 p.m. on Friday and work to extinguish the fire is still ongoing in the factory located in Jhar Majri. So far, 30 workers are reported to have been injured in the fire as per official records, one of them later succumbing to her injuries. A total of 85 employees were trapped in the blaze.

The owner of the factory, Chander Shekhar, has been arrested, and the government has ordered a magisterial probe into the disaster.

The police in a statement on Saturday said about 12 fire tenders from Himachal, Haryana, Punjab and local industries were pressed into service to control the fire.

An FIR has been registered at Barotiwala police station under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC.

Director-general of police Sanjay Kundu, who visited the spot, announced the formation of a special investigation team to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. The SIT will include additional superintendent of police Ashok Verma, deputy superintendent of police Khazana Ram, and station house officer Sanjay Sharma.

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