Massive fire guts Agra shoe factory; 1 worker killed

A massive fire broke out in a shoe factory here, killing one worker and injuring eight persons, including a police officer and fire fighters, police said today.

The fire started last evening and could be put out only this morning, and it gutted the entire factory, SSP Shalabh Mathur said.

The owner of the factory -- Metro and Metro -- Dwarkanath Kalsi suffered a heart attack because of the mishap and died, family sources said.

His body was cremated this afternoon, they said.

The cause of the fire was said to be a tubelight bursting and falling into some chemical, the SSP said.

One worker was reported missing in the blaze and the rubble was being cleared to recover his body, he said.

Kalsi was regarded as the doyen of shoe manufacturers and exporters and had set up a high-tech establishment over the last few decades.

Incidentally, Kalsi was the patron of the Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber, which is organising a three-day leather, footwear components and technology fair here beginning November 15, at which over 200 Indian manufacturers and 35 foreign companies are expected to participate.

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