Shopping mall fire kills 11 in Karachi

KARACHI  -  At least 11 people were killed and 22 others sustained injuries when huge fire erupted at a shopping mall at Ka­rachi’s Rashid Minhas Road on Saturday, police and rescue workers said.

The bodies and in­jured persons were tak­en to Jinnah Postgradu­ate Medical Center, Abbasi Shaheed Hospi­tal and Civil Hospital, Karachi for autopsies and medico-legal for­malities. JPMC received nine bodies, while one body each was rushed to CHK and ASH.

Initially, two fire ten­ders were dispatched to the mall; however, later more fire tenders and snorkel were rushed. Additional Inspector General of Police, Karachi Khadim Hussain Rind constitut­ed three-member investigation committee led by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Ghulam Azfar Mahesar and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) East Irfan Bahadur and SSP Saud Magsi as members.

Meanwhile, Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (R) Maqbool Baqar took serious notice of the ab­sence of safety & security arrangements at commer­cial and government offices. The interim CM said that the fire eruption incidents in commercial and government offices were claiming valuable lives, thereby destroying families, and causing huge loss­es to the concerned private and public properties.

The CM said that such incidents were taking place because we had abandoned the inspection system. “I have developed an inspection regime under which inspection of all the installations, of­fices, commercial buildings and public spots would be carried out in a scientific and systematic way,” the CM said. The CM directed the SBCA, PDMA, Civ­il Defence, and concerned deputy commissioner/assistant commissioner to carry out safety audits of all public and commercial buildings, education­al institutions, and government offices and submit their report along with recommendations.

Justice Baqar said that most of the commer­cial buildings and even government offices have stopped installing fire extinguishers at the estab­lishments. “As a result, when fire erupts there is no system or mechanism to extinguish,” he said. 

The CM also directed Commissioner Karachi to inquire into the incident of fire eruption in a shop­ping mall, near Dalmia. “This is a grave incident which has claimed valuable lives,” he said and di­rected the commissioner to fix the responsibility so that necessary action could be taken.

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