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Court grants bail to Pakistan fire factory owners

Published on Sep 14, 2012 5:20 PM

KARACHI (AFP) - Three factory-owners facing murder charges over the deaths of 289 people in a huge fire in Karachi handed themselves in to court on Friday to request pre-arrest bail, their lawyer said.

Workers burned to death or suffocated in the massive blaze that engulfed Ali Enterprises clothing factory, which made ready-to-wear clothes for export to Western retailers, on Tuesday evening.

Police registered a murder case over the fire on Thursday, saying the owners - Abdul Aziz, Mohammad Arshad and Shahid Bhaila - had shown "utter negligence" about workers' safety.

The trio, who have not been arrested, appeared in the high court in Larkana, 450km north of Karachi and were granted "protective bail" for eight days, their lawyer Aamir Mansoor Qureshi said.

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