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Six dead in India pharma factory fire

At least six people were charred to death and more than 15 others injured in a major fire at a pharmaceutical unit in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in the small hours of Thursday, officials said.

Fire and police officials suspect a gas leak triggered a reactor explosion, leading to the deadly blaze at the factory owned by Porus Laboratories Private Limited in the state’s West Godavari district.

“Some 20-22 people were working at the factory at the time of the fire,” district police chief B Srinivasulu told the media, UNB reports.

Some 10 fire tenders were pressed into service and it took them over two hours to contain the blaze. “Later the firemen found the six charred bodies from the factory premises,” a senior fire officer said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy condoled the deaths and announced a Rs 25 lakh each for the families of the deceased.

“A probe has been ordered into the fire,” the police officer said.

Fires in factories and residential buildings are common in India because of lax enforcement of inferno safety regulations.