Political party faction behind Baldia factory fire, Rangers tell SHC

Published February 6, 2015
A view of rescue services being carried out at the factory in Baldia Town which was struck by a massive fire on Sept 11, 2012, killing at least 258 workers. —AFP/File
A view of rescue services being carried out at the factory in Baldia Town which was struck by a massive fire on Sept 11, 2012, killing at least 258 workers. —AFP/File

KARACHI: Rangers personnel on Friday presented a report in the Sindh High Court which revealed that a faction of a political party was behind the deadly 2012 Baldia Town fire that consumed at least 258 factory workers.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report also said that a suspect from the party has been arrested.

The suspect had made several confessions of which the court was apprised today, although his/her identity and affiliation has reportedly not been disclosed in the report.

According to sources, Rangers have requested the Sindh High Court to forgo revealing other details of the report before the public on account of what they called its sensitive nature.

Explore: Two years on, few lessons learned from Baldia factory fire

The court again ordered the Sindh government to compensate 128 legal heirs of the deadly fire's victims still awaiting relief, and present a report before the court in this regard within a week's time.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned for a week.

The fire at the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi's Baldia Town, considered to be the country’s worst industrial incident, killed more than 250 people and injured many others on Sept 11, 2012.

Take a look: Nation’s worst industrial tragedy swallows at least 258

After the Baldia fire, the European Parliament told big brands to re-examine their supply chains in Pakistan and demanded the creation of a new effective and independent system to monitor factories. This has not been done.

A judicial probe into the blaze was damning, pointing to a lack of emergency exits, poor safety training for workers, the packing in of machinery and the failure of government inspectors to spot any of these faults.

Nearly two years after the fire, the victims’ families received a total of $1.67 million in immediate compensation paid by the factory owners and the German company KIK, which bought much of the production. Negotiations are still going on for long-term benefits.

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