KARACHI: A fire that broke out in the chemical warehouse of a plastic bag manufacturing factory in Karachi's Gulbai area engulfed the entire factory on Sunday as the intensity of blaze increased , DawnNews reported.
Fire tenders reached the spot from across the city.
Fire tenders of the Air force and Army had also been deployed and were making efforts to put the fire out.
The fire that begun late on Saturday rendered the structure of the building hollow causing large portions of the five-story building to collapse and had spread to an adjoining factory in the vicinity.
Two production units along with chemicals and other raw materials worth millions were reduced to ashes as a result of the fire.
Fire brigade officials declared the fire as a third-degree hazard.
Citizens Police Liaison Committee chief Ahmed Chinoy said that it was difficult to immediately bring the fire under control as there was a lack of equipment and resources, as the nature of fire was not normal. He added that water was not useful in extinguishing the fire and that additional fire retardant foam had been sought.
Chinoy further said that the firemen were trying their best to contain the fire and to stop it from spreading to other areas.
Rescue and fire teams were concerned about the fire spreading to the basement of the factory which contained drums of inflammable and explosive chemicals and were instructed to maintain a distance from the fire site keeping in view the fear of an explosion.
Smoke billowing from the fire was visible from miles away.
Some fire experts suggested that attempting to put out the fire with water was useless as chemical fires can only be extinguished using a special kind of a fire retardant foam.
A large number of people had gathered to spectate the site of fire.
In another unrelated incident a warehouse storing wooded goods caught fire in Orangi Town area of Karachi. Fire tenders were dispatched to the location to put out the fire.