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.