Khartoum: At least 18 Indians were among the 23 people killed and more than 130 injured in a horrific LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in Sudan, the Indian mission said here on Wednesday.
Sixteen Indians were missing after the incident that happened at Seela Ceramic Factory in Bahri area in Khartoum, the national capital, on Tuesday.
"As per the latest reports, but so far not confirmed officially, 18 are dead," the Indian Embassy said in a release. "Some of the missing may be in the list of dead, which we are still to receive as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt."
The embassy on Wednesday issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy.
Official Sources in New Delhi said 68 Indians were working in the factory.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the embassy representative has rushed to the site and a 24-hour emergency hotline set up by the Indian Embassy in Khartoum.
Have just received the tragic news of a major blast in a ceramic factory “Saloomi” in the Bahri area of the capital Khartoum in Sudan. Deeply grieved to learn that some Indian workers have lost their lives while some others have been seriously injured.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 4, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his anguish at the loss of lives.
Anguished by the blast in a ceramic factory in Sudan, where some Indian workers have lost their lives and some are injured. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured. Our Embassy is providing all possible assistance to those affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 4, 2019
As per the embassy's data, seven people have been hospitalised, with four in critical condition. Thirty-four Indians who survived have been accommodated at the Saloomi Ceramics Factory residence.
According to a statement issued by the Sudanese government, the blast in a gas tanker triggered the fire in an industrial area because of which 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured.
"Preliminary observations indicate a lack of necessary safety measures and equipment at the factory, in addition to random storage of flammable materials," it said.
An investigation has been launched, it added.
(With inputs from PTI)