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Indians die in Beirut blaze

Beirut, Dec. 15 (AP): At least 14 foreign workers, including Indians, were killed and two others injured in a fire that gutted a plastic factory in Beirut today, police officials said.

Fire fighters struggled for about eight hours to put out the blaze that began before dawn at the four-storey factory in Roumieh, a suburb 20 km northeast of Beirut, the officials said.

Civil defence teams pulled out the charred bodies of 14 Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan workers who were sleeping in the first floor when the fire started, spreading to other floors, they added.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Thousands of foreigners, mainly Syrians and Asians, have been lured to Lebanon by better pay from jobs opened up by the country’s multibillion-dollar programme to rebuild from its devastating 1975-90 civil war.

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