Delhi factory collapses on firemen, leaving 12 injured, 1 trapped

Smoke rises after a factory caught fire and collapsed in Peera Garhi area in western New Delhi. (AP pic)

NEW DELHI: A New Delhi factory collapsed on firefighters Thursday as they tackled the third major blaze in the Indian capital in less than a month, officials said.

Twelve people, mainly firefighters, suffered injuries and one remained trapped inside the battery factory seven hours after the alert was raised, an emergency services spokesman said.

Emergency services have been put on special alert following a series of high-profile disasters in recent weeks.

A fire that tore through a bag factory on Dec 9 killed 43 people, while nine others died in a later incident.

More than 150 firefighters were called to the factory in the Peeragarhi district of Delhi after the alert was raised just before dawn on Thursday. Flames more than 10m high were reported.

Firefighters were battling the blaze inside when an explosion rocked the back of the factory which collapsed into a heap of debris giving off black toxic smoke.

India is frequently rocked by fire disasters blamed on poor planning and lax enforcement of safety rules.