KARACHI, April 9: Along with their five-month-old son, Mohammad Ayaz Hanif and Nazia Hanif’s lives came to an abrupt end after the roof of their room collapsed on them in a crammed locality in Kharadar’s Nayabad area on Tuesday.

Around 9am, Ayaz’s father Iqbal Hanif woke up following a bang and ran towards his son’s room. “All he saw was debris, as if the room was never there,” said his brother Mohammad Zubair, as the father did not speak a word, neither cried, after watching his son’s body being carried out by rescue workers. Ayaz’s mother was unconscious most of the time, and whenever she came to, she asked about her grandson, Mohammad Aqdas.

Located in a busy lane, Almas Palace was refurbished many times after being built 23 years ago, the neighbours told Dawn. Ayaz had been living with his parents for over a year before getting married.

The apartment had also been redecorated and renovated during Ayaz’s wedding in 2011, according to an aunt of the deceased. Even as she spoke, cracks on the ceiling and the surrounding walls were visible underneath the colourful wallpaper.

With government officials and even police conspicuous by their absence, scores of people kept coming in to ‘look’ at the debris, who were being frantically pushed away by the family members. As a result of that, most family members got angry, requesting people “not to mock their misery.”

Ayaz’s brother-in-law, Mohammad Yusuf said that Karachi Development Authority officials came in “for a few minutes, to check the room, and left without uttering a word.”

The bodies were immediately sent to the Civil Hospital Karachi. The funeral of the family was held around Asr.

Earlier in August 2011, 33 residents were killed when a building collapsed in Lyari’s Musa Lane area. Among the victims, 20 were women.

Though it started off a controversy over the number of dilapidated buildings in the area, the debate gradually fizzled out.


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