Twelve people were believed killed when a Johannesburg chemical factory burned down on Friday night, police said Saturday, reporting that they were investigating an allegation that those who had died had been locked in.
Superintendent Richard Luvengho said six bodies had been recovered by 9:00 am (0700 GMT) on Saturday. Five of the bodies had been burnt beyond recognition.
He said police were investigating an allegation that the 12 workers were locked in the factory at 5:00 PM on Friday and had no emergency escape route.
Luvengho said it appeared that the 12 people had tried to break down a storeroom door in an attempt to get out of the factory.
The ESS Chemicals factory manufactured floor polish. Luvengho said it was believed a gas bottle inside the building exploded.
Police and members of the fire brigade were struggling Saturday to uncover more bodies. The roof caved in during the fire, hampering their task -- JOHANNESBURG (AFP)
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