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Pakistani Rescuers End Search After Factory Collapse Kills 45

Islamabad, November 11 (RHC)-- Pakistani rescuers have ended a week-long search after pulling out 45 bodies from the rubble of a collapsed factory near the eastern city of Lahore. Muhammad Usman, a top administration official in the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, confirmed the conclusion of search operations on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Arshad Zia, chief of rescue services in Lahore, said that some 1,000 workers took part in almost a week-long rescue operation following one of the worst industrial accidents in the country's history.

"The search for bodies or any survivors was concluded this morning and we believe that there is no-one in the remaining debris," AFP quoted Zia as saying, adding: "The search operation lasted for 131 hours and we did searches from multiple angles repeatedly. The final body count is 45 and more than 100 were pulled alive."

The developments came after a 4-storey polythene bag factory in the Sundar industrial estate, located about 45 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the city center came crashing down on November 4th. Following the incident, the Pakistani army announced that it was sending special search teams and engineers to help with the rescue efforts.

The cause of the incident is still unknown, although it is said that the owner of the building had been constructing the fourth storey despite reported damage from a strong October 26th earthquake in Pakistan. The tremor killed 273 people and damaged about 75,000 houses in the country.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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