Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

- Photo by AP
- Photo by AP
Pakistani relatives mourn missing family members following an assault by militants at Karachi airport terminal in Karachi. – AFP Photo
Pakistani relatives mourn missing family members following an assault by militants at Karachi airport terminal in Karachi. – AFP Photo
A woman holds up a cellphone displaying an image of a missing relative following an assault by militants at Karachi airport in Karachi. – AFP Photo
A woman holds up a cellphone displaying an image of a missing relative following an assault by militants at Karachi airport in Karachi. – AFP Photo

KARACHI: At least seven bodies were recovered in the early hours of Tuesday morning from Karachi airport’s cold-storage facility, DawnNews reported.

The rescue operation continued nearly for 28 hours. The rescue workers finally broke down three walls of the cold-storage facility to retrieve the victims.

Meanwhile, talking to media persons Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that the corpses were immediately shifted to Jinnah Hospital for DNA tests in order to identify them, after which they would be handed over to their relatives.

Ahmed said that the bodies were badly burnt and were beyond recognition and the process of identification would take three weeks time.

He added that if the deceased could not be identified, they would be buried after being provided temporary identification.

One of the Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel was still missing, Ahmed claimed.

According to sources, the deceased were employees of a private cargo company.

Due to the fact that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) lacked heavy machinery, many prominent social workers voluntarily sent cranes to rescue the victims.

The army also assisted in the recovery of bodies in the rescue operation.

The deceased had taken refuge in the cold-storage facility to escape the carnage where they were earlier trapped.

“We are looking into this and according to the families some seven people were trapped inside the cold storage and were in contact with the families on cell phone,” said Abid Qaimkhani, a spokesman for CAA.

Earlier last night, the families of seven airport workers had blocked Shahra e Faisal demanding that authorities work towards freeing their relatives who were trapped.

While speaking at a press conference held at the airport last night, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had said that at least 19 security personnel including 11 Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel were killed in the brazen attack.

He added that the main target of the assailants was to destroy aircraft in which they failed and that two or three aircraft received minor damages which were easily reparable.

On Sunday night, the assailants were said to have forged fake ID cards to pose as ASF personnel and had managed to enter the area that way.

The militants carried out the attack from three different sides, while there were reports that two terrorists managed to get inside a plane.

The operation against the attackers was successful and all militants were eliminated. On Monday afternoon, the airport was handed over to CAA and was opened for general public.

Karachi airport attack: How it happened...


Comments (57) Closed

rizwan Jun 10, 2014 07:46am

sad and unfortunate

AA Jun 10, 2014 08:02am

I feel very sad " The authorities busy in protocol and someone yesterday said on TV "I am happy with successful operation".

Syed Jun 10, 2014 08:03am

Attack! Attack! Attack! Army what are you waiting for ?!?!? Enough is enough.

SBB Jun 10, 2014 08:05am

This is such an amazingly sad story makes me angry that anyone would have to die like this. Supporters of the terrorists will have to answer for this sin. Choose friends wisely.

Heart Broken Jun 10, 2014 08:05am

Heart Broken on hearing this news. May Allah bless their Souls. This is really sad. Praying for the families to pull through this great loss.

Yousuf Jun 10, 2014 08:05am

The height of inefficiency as is found in a hapless Government ruled by incompetent men as 9 lives were lost in horrifying circumstances. Unfortunately it is not in Pakistani culture to step down as did Korean PM failing to rescue men of a capsized ship. Nawaz should accept responsibility in the absence of a competent Defence Secretary to step down.

hani abidi Jun 10, 2014 08:11am

Their is really no room for negotiation with TTP. No ROOM!

AA Jun 10, 2014 08:18am

How many innocent civilian shaheed and quietly buried every day. Who put us in this swamp !!

bravo Jun 10, 2014 08:26am

My salutes for the authorities who were busy in celebrating their uncompleted victory.While these people were screaming for their lives from 15 hours.May their souls rest in peace.

Bhatti Jun 10, 2014 08:30am

Couldn't anyone turn off the power supply to the Freezing Room, or the entire Cargo building's electricity to save these 7 people's lives. Was there any Competent Intelligent enough person in charge. This is what happens and innocent lives are lost when incompetent politically appointed people are in charge of important civil departments as Airport and other places.

Najamuddin Jun 10, 2014 08:31am

To call it a successful operation is like pouring salt to the wounds of bereaved family members, friends and well-wishers of the victims. There were many alternate words to appreciate the laudable performance and sacrifices of the security personnel for saving the Airport from greater loss of lives and property. One TV channel was continuously and callously showing the smiling portrait of PTI's Dr. Alvi as he was commenting on some very happy events? After containing the terrorists first priority would have been given to save lives of the boys inside cold storage.

humm Jun 10, 2014 08:43am

Chaudhry Nisar should resign from his post, he has proved his incompetency since he got elected, that a year now ... Prime Minister should also go back to his beloved Saudia, we Pakistani's dont need people in power who serves their self and other favorite country's interests rather looking after their country fellows needs.

Danish Haider Jun 10, 2014 08:43am

Utter failure of CM who had been unable to face TV Anchors yesterday night when news break and he was pushed to visit the place. Sharjeel Memon another culprit tried his best to support CM by giving him hints during media coverage.

Zero tolerance this time, CM Sindh & Sharjeel Memon to be prosecuted for 7 deaths.

imran ali Jun 10, 2014 08:48am

who are responsible for the death?why after the operation for the missing staff not done by CAA?

Abdullah Jun 10, 2014 08:59am

This is murder. While many rejoice a successful operation.

ali ahmed Jun 10, 2014 08:59am

operation completed in 5 hrs..why no rescue operation done,it stated only when relatives protested and news came in tv channel...who are responsible for these preventable death?

Babar Jun 10, 2014 09:00am

I am not a TTP supporter, i reiterate i am not a supporter of Taliban. but how on earth they take onus of every terrorist attack in the country.

My small mind just can't comprehend this.

Ahmed Jun 10, 2014 09:12am

We have to except as a whole nation we don't have human values.

FIZA Soho Jun 10, 2014 09:18am

How very sad these helpless employees had to perish this way, may they be granted a place in Jannat by the Almighty.

The fact that they were all left without any rescue till it was too late says volumes about the incompetent admins who were well aware that these employees were in this facility yet didn't move swiftly to rescue them and sadly let them perish for no justifiable reason.

Whoever was negligent in this mass murder should be held accountable, no one can claim to be innocent and whosoever is complicit needs to be brought to justice.

AZ Jun 10, 2014 09:35am

@AA Media channels should be banned from such coverage.

Abbas Syed Jun 10, 2014 09:57am

Nisar Ali Khans statement is laughable when he said that the main target of the assailants was to destroy aircraft in which they failed and that two or three aircraft received minor damages which were easily reparable.

But what about the nineteen lives that were lost. Was it not a success for TTP.

DJ Jun 10, 2014 09:59am

We indians condemn such terror attacks. We pray for the peace of the departed souls.

This is a major accomplishment for law enforcement agencies by denying Taliban militants the access to passenger terminals and aeroplanes.

We pray that family members of the deceased get strengths to face this loss.


maleval Jun 10, 2014 10:12am

@Babar you are right about one thing. your mind/brain is indeed small.

fazela Jun 10, 2014 10:23am

Extremely callous, sad, and tortuous.Shame on the government who celebrates and does not resign for incompetence and neglect.

hawk Jun 10, 2014 10:39am

security forces were responsible for cleaning out the terrorist, which they did effectively.

it was the responsibility of the Sindh govt, CAA and PIA to check and re-check the area, esp the sites where blasts occurred or was under fire. no body ever thought to check the cold storage.. and now we have seven more martyrs...

We are sorry people! Rest in Peace !

Ahmad Ali Rafi Jun 10, 2014 10:47am

How sicks we've become? We are all killers and sinners. We're animals!!!

Amir Bangash Jun 10, 2014 11:06am

Very sad and my heartfelt condolences to the families of those martyred in the incident. The perpetrators involved in the killings of innocent people and destroying national assets, must not be spared and chased where ever they may be hiding.

Asif Jun 10, 2014 11:10am

This is cold blooded murder. These poor souls should have been saved by reaching them quickly and putting out fire.

ashfaq1 Jun 10, 2014 11:14am

Did I miss it or sindh government hasn't uttered a single word on why they can't secure Karachi. Even TTP planners know sindh is the weakest link in the chain. Impose governor rule if thats what it takes to bring peace to kchi

Muhammad Jun 10, 2014 11:20am

@Babar Let me try to pour a loud and clear thing in your self proclaimed small mind. TTP is not an organization it is a mind set. Yes, a mind set present every where around us. This mind set do not bother about anything coming in their way. No wonder people inside the airport helped these terrorists to come inside. No wonder if this mind set is working to destabilize Pakistan with every mean and unfortunately of all, people among us are unable to understand this phenomenon. Many of us don't even know that we are helping them and supporting their philosophy by just not condemning them. Strict dictatorship is required, a person who got one agenda "prosperity of Pakistan".

syed golam nabi Jun 10, 2014 11:35am

Irfan Jun 10, 2014 12:26pm

If Army has to come forward everytime, why do we have a civilian government???? to gulp up our tax money!!!

parveez Jun 10, 2014 12:31pm

People in power will not take any responsibility. They will carry on as usual. They will take credit when it suits them. They have no shame. Pakistan as a nation is no more. All we care about is our self interests.

baba Jun 10, 2014 01:24pm

@Bhatti its what happens when illiterate people run the country. We have our own selves to blame for all attrocities as it is the people that elect these people who have no concern for the country or people. Priority all these decades for government should have been to build a foundation of law and order, health and education instead of lining the pockets.

janan Jun 10, 2014 01:26pm

They said "bodies were badly burnt and were beyond recognition" I don't understand who could that happened in cold storage?

Only if cold storage burned to the ground but this not seem the case here as they have to broke down the walls to retrieve the victims.

Taha Jun 10, 2014 01:38pm

This is disgusting. These seven lives could have easily been saved. Although all the terrorists were killed, it was the responsibility of the respected authorities to ensure that all lives had been saved but surely there was a lapse in the security check.

Farrukh Jun 10, 2014 01:51pm

Do an operation in pehalwan goth and ull find all the culprits required. Security is flawed in karachi. Despite this recent event these culprits managed to escape

Harmony Jun 10, 2014 01:57pm


gerry d'cunha Jun 10, 2014 02:30pm

the aged sindh CM and the luxurious sindh governor should resigned immediately

soha Jun 10, 2014 02:33pm

i don't understand every time Taliban accept the crime and our Govt do nothing to punish......mainly Govt do all things they fail to protect Innocent people live shame on PM Nawaz Sharif

Taimoor Khan Jun 10, 2014 03:10pm

When you have a CM of Sindh who may not be able to tell the difference between day and night, who is more interested in the tasks of government , what would one accept? How long this utter illiteracy and incompetency will be allowed to go on in Pakistan?

Shaheen Jun 10, 2014 03:19pm

@Babar What do u want to say. TTP only take onus. Even if they don't, they are only responsible for all the terrorist activities in Pakistan.

khanman Jun 10, 2014 03:26pm

All those involved in the attacks local or foreign or "local fed by foreign", remember one thing everyone has his day, the ahhs from innocent people of this land who are suffering directly or indirectly is going to bring wrath from above on you soon. what goes around comes around.

khanman Jun 10, 2014 03:28pm

@Ahmad Ali Rafi we arent some are.dont blame every one.

Amer Jun 10, 2014 03:46pm

@Syed They are more interested in the procurement of land for the next housing society. Property dealers

Ajamal Jun 10, 2014 03:49pm

My heart bleeds and my eyes weep. What more .............................

AHA Jun 10, 2014 04:17pm

The only tangible outcome of all this is that the status of Karachi has been badly tarnished. Wondering who would be happy from this outcome.

tariq lodi Jun 10, 2014 04:21pm

how callous,those responsible for carelessness in declaring the area cleared must be punished

AHA Jun 10, 2014 04:21pm

Sad, very sad. So many innocent lives, for a crazy cause.

Ajamal Jun 10, 2014 05:26pm

@ashfaq1 : Sindh government cannot even provide clean water - you are asking for security??

Francis Jacob Jun 10, 2014 07:57pm

@AA Gen. Zia ul Haq. God help you all.

Faisal Jun 10, 2014 10:26pm

I have not seen such an inactive, irresponsible and callous government and the people work for them............these killers have been killing people for the last ten years and no concrete action was ever taken against them had been in the west would have been finished long time. I don't know what stopping Pakistan to act (it's nuclear capable country ) they come whenever they want and kill people with will. The rest of the world just laugh on us........................shameful.

Bikram Jun 11, 2014 01:58am

This is very sad. My heart goes out to the families who lost their loved one. Taking life of innocent people is no revenge.

Malik Ajmal Khan Jun 11, 2014 07:47am

Just a clarification to all overseas readers. Cold Storage is a bonded warehouse and it had nothing to do with lower temperatures. The transition warehouse used by customs is called cold storage - a stark reminder of prevailing bureaucracy.

Shame on these corrupt politicians. He should resign if he has any self respect. Jun 11, 2014 10:40pm

@Abbas Syed Shame on these corrupt politicians

Fahad Jun 12, 2014 06:33pm

sad so sad

JK Jun 12, 2014 10:14pm

Vow there is no procedure in place to do the head count?