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2 more bodies recovered, death toll rises to 7; search on for 3 workers

Besides the police, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), officials said, personnel of the pollution, public works and health departments are also engaged in operations.

Two people — Chander Shekhar, the factory head of N R Aromas Company, and Vinod Bilwa — have been arrested in connection with the February 2 fire, in which 37 people were also injured.

They were arrested after an FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 285 (negligence), 336 (endangering life), 337 (causing hurt) and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), according to police.

Police said a special investigation team (SIT), which is probing the case, is conducting searches to apprehend the factory’s owners against whom non-bailable warrants have been issued.

During his visit to the factory on February 7, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had said that negligence and violations of norms would be probed and industrial laws would be amended suitably to prevent recurrence of such accidents.

Industry Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan had constituted a joint task force of various departments to carry out a safety audit of all factories in the Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) industrial belt following the incident.

There were violations of norms related to fire and labour safety, and the incident occurred due to criminal negligence of the company, he had said.

Of the five bodies recovered earlier, four were identified while one was not.

The deceased were Pinki, Rahnuma, Shashi and Rakhi.

Champo, Kajal, Kajal Bharti, Kalpana and Vijay Dubey were missing and the bodies of two of them were recovered on Sunday.

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