DUBAI: Owners of Baldia Town factory, where over 250 people were burnt to death in a massive fire in 2012, have revealed that they were being coerced into paying extortion by a certain group before the incident. A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Monday recorded initial statement of owners of the Ali Enterprise. The Investigators interviewed Shahid Aziz Bhaila and Arshad Aziz Bhail at the Pakistani embassy after consulting the embassy staff. Sources quoted a factory owner saying that “We too were perplexed as a short circuit cannot trigger such a massive blaze.” “Those who perished in the fire were not only our employees, they were like our family members,” he said. When asked as to why they left Pakistan after the incident, the owners of the Ali Enterprise said that they were forced to flee the country due to security reasons. Diplomatic sources told Samaa the meeting between the JIT members and the owners of the factory took place in the room of Pakistani counselor in complete secrecy, where even embassy staff was not allowed to enter during the interview. The sources said that the investigating team left the embassy after spending four hours. The JIT headed by DIG Sultan Khawaja and comprising DIG East Munir Ahmed Sheikh and representatives of the Federal Investigation Agency left for Dubai on Sunday. According to media reports, the investigators are expecting a breakthrough in the case.