Death toll climbs to 20 in fire at Kashmir munitions' depot

The death toll from a fire at a munitions' depot in India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state rose to 20 with the recovery of 15 more bodies overnight, police said Tuesday.

Death toll climbs to 20 in fire at Kashmir munitions' depot
The death toll from a fire at a munitions' depot in India's northern Jammu and Kashmir state rose to 20 with the recovery of 15 more bodies overnight, police said Tuesday.

The fire, which started Saturday morning at the Khundru facility in Anantnag district, some 85 kilometres south of state capital Srinagar, was under control but explosions had continued through Monday.

Senior police official Hemant Lohia said 15 more bodies were found during the search operations at the facility, and warned that the death toll could mount as nine soldiers were still missing. The latest bodies recovered those of an army officer and 13 firemen, he said.

Although the army firefighters had doused the fire in most of the affected areas, an explosion was reported Monday morning, Lohia said. He added that army search teams would enter the main depot area 48 hours after the last explosion.

According to an army spokesman, 40 people were injured in the blaze and the authorities had evacuated more than 30,000 villagers living within a 6-kilometre radius of the depot.

Many of them were allowed to return home Saturday, but at least 10,000 who lived nearest to the facility were still being kept at makeshift shelters.

DPA
Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2007, 11:27
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