Twin factory fires claimed over 40 lives, including that of women and children, in Pakistan's two major cities on Tuesday.
Tragedy struck both Lahore [ Images ] and Karachi where major blazes engulfed two separate factories, killing and wounding several people and trapping many others.
In Lahore, at least 25 people, including three children, were killed and 15 others injured in a fire at a shoe factory where plastic, leather and chemicals stored in the building fuelled the blaze.
According to witnesses and police, some 40 people were in the shoe factory when the fire broke out.
The owner of the factory, Rajab Ali, and his 10-year-old son were among the dead, witnesses said.
"Some 25 people, including three children, died inside the building," a spokesman for the rescue service said.
District administration chief Noorul Amin told reporters that the fire broke out after a generator exploded.
He said an inquiry had been launched to identify government officials who had allowed the factory to operate in a residential area.
In the other incident, a massive fire erupted at a cloth factory on the outskirts of Pakistan's biggest city Karachi, trapping as many as 100 people inside.
According to a report in 'Geo TV', at least 18 people were killed and nearly three dozens injured.
According to fire and rescue officials, a large number of workers were still trapped in the burning factory as efforts were being made to put out the fire.
The number of the injured was put at around 30 and fire officials said the fire appeared to have been caused by electrical circuits.
The city's entire firefighting force was deployed to control the 'degree three' fire and rescuers used snorkels to bring people down from the roof of the factory.
Several people were injured as they tried to escape the inferno by jumping off the building.