KARACHI: A two-year-old boy and a labourer were killed and over half a dozen others, including a fireman, injured on Tuesday morning in two blazes that destroyed a New Karachi industrial unit and ripped through several huts in Federal B Industrial Area.
While the cause of the fire could not be ascertained, the chief fire officer said dry weather and dusty winds might have played a role.
It was around 11:30am when someone informed the fire department over the phone about the blaze at the polyester yarn factory, situated in Sector 12-B of the New Karachi Industrial Area, said a duty officer at the central fire station.
Initially, two fire tenders were dispatched to the scene, he said.
However, assessing the situation on ground, reinforcement was called in and almost all fire tenders of the KMC were employed in the firefighting operation, said Chief Fire Officer Saleem Ehtesham.
It was categorised as a Phase III fire, because firefighters faced immense difficulties in putting it out, explained the duty officer. He said the absence of a water tank in the factory compounded the problem.
Almost the entire ground-plus-one structure of the polyester yarn factory collapsed within two hours, said Mr Ehtesham.
Heavy machinery placed on the first floor came crashing down as the building collapsed, causing injuries to some people and claiming the life of a 22-year-old worker, Mohammad Imran.
The injured labourers were identified as Aaqil, Mubeen Ahmed, Khursheed, Rashid, Yaseen. Fireman Zubair Ansari also suffered injuries.
The victims were rushed to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
The chief fire officer said: “Only 10 per cent of the structure survived.”
He said the use of substandard construction material in the building was one of the causes of the collapse.
The fire was put out after a five-hour operation, he added.
Earlier, a two-year-old boy died when a fire destroyed several huts in Zamurd Colony, Block 22 of the F.B Industrial Area in the early hours of Tuesday.
The residents were asleep when the fire erupted, but they managed to evacuate before it had destroyed their huts. However, two-year-old Hasan Riaz could not be timely evacuated and he died in the blaze that also left an elderly man, Juma Khan, injured.
“At around 4:30am, we received a call that a fire has erupted in the huts in Zamurd Colony,” said the duty officer at the central fire station.