18 Indians among 23 killed in factory fire in Sudan

Khartoum, Dec 4 (PTI) At least 18 Indians were among 23 people killed and over 130 injured in a horrific LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in Sudan, the Indian mission said here on Wednesday.

Sixteen Indians were missing after the incident that happened at 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 in a release.

'Some of the missing may be in the list of dead which we are still to receive as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt,' it added.

Official Sources in New Delhi said 68 Indians were working in the factory.

'Deeply grieved to learn that some Indian workers have lost their lives while some others have been seriously injured,' External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said.

'The Embassy representative has rushed to the site. A 24-hour emergency hotline +249-921917471 has been set up by @EoI_Khartoum. Embassy is also putting out updates on social media. Our prayers are with the workers and their families,' he tweeted.

The Indian Embassy on Wednesday issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy.

As per its data, 7 people have been hospitalised, with four in critical condition.

Thirty four Indians who survived have been accommodated at the Saloomi Ceramics Factory residence.

According to a statement issued by the Sudanese government, the blast in a gas tanker triggered the fire in an industrial area because of which 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured.

'Preliminary observations indicate a lack of necessary safety measures and equipment at the factory, in addition to random storage of flammable materials,' it said.

An investigation has been launched, it added. PTI RS MPB ZH AKJ ZH ZH ZH