Eleven people were killed in a fire that ripped through a paint factory in India's capital, an official said Friday, with rescue teams still searching for survivors.

The fire broke out on New Delhi's northern outskirts late Thursday, fire services director Atul Garg told AFP.

"There was a blast in the paint factory and the building collapsed. The victims were labourers in the factory," Garg said.

"The impact was such that the fire spread to a house and a drug rehabilitation centre nearby."

Garg said the fire had since been contained and the cause of the blast was yet to be determined.

Factory accidents are common across India, with owners often ignoring basic safety requirements and operating without permits.

More than 40 people died in a fire in a factory making school bags and shoes in Delhi in 2019.

As is often the case, many of the dead were poor migrant workers earning a pittance and sleeping at the factory.

One of India's worst fires was in 1985 at a school in the northern state of Haryana where 442 people died, 258 of them children.