Discuss as:

'Screaming for their lives': Pakistan factory fires kill hundreds

Fareed Khan / AP

A woman mourns the death of a family member outside a mortuary in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 12, 2012. Flames raced through a garment factory in the city on Tuesday night, killing at least 100 people.

Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images

Locals watch the rescue operation outside the burnt garment factory in Karachi on September 12, 2012.

By NBC News staff and wire reports — At least 261 people burnt to death as fires swept through two factories in Pakistan, police and government officials said on Wednesday, raising questions about industrial safety in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation.

Slideshow: A nation in turmoil

Flames raced through a garment factory in the teeming commercial capital of Karachi, killing 236 people. Weeping relatives in hospitals and morgues heaped criticism on the deeply unpopular government. In Lahore, a fire raged in a shoe factory, killing at least 25 people. Read the full story.

Fareed Khan / AP

A woman looks for a missing family member at a morgue in Karachi on September 12, 2012.

Athar Hussain / Reuters

Relatives mourn their loved ones, who were killed in a fire at a garment factory, after their bodies were brought to the Jinnah hospital morgue in Karachi on September 12, 2012.

Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images

Rescuers collect evidence in a shoe-making factory following a fire which gutted the factory the previous night in Lahore, Pakistan on September 12, 2012.

Follow @NBCNewsPictures

Sign up for the NBCNews.com Photos Newsletter