A three-storey residential building collapsed in Jaffer Tayar Society of Malir area in Karachi on Monday morning. A rescue operation is currently underway.
According to rescue and police officials, three families — a total of 20 to 25 people — were residing in the 30-year-old building. They said three bodies have been recovered while two survivors have been rescued so far. Authorities expect more casualties.
The building collapsed in the early hours of Monday, rescuers said. The apparently dilapidated building collapsed at around 7am. A contingent of the Pakistan Army, rescuers, policemen and Rangers personnel are taking part in the operation. Heavy machinery has also been brought to the spot to remove the rubble.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and directed Karachi commissioner to supervise the rescue operation. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also took notice of the incident.
Earlier in the day, Sindh Labour Minister Ghulam Murtaza Baloch told DawnNewsTV that the body of the owner of the building has been recovered, but more people remain inside.
He added that rescuers, officials and machinery have reached the spot but were facing difficulty conducting a rescue operation as a crowd of people has surrounded the area.
Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani said that rescue officials were unable to bring heavy machinery to remove the debris at the spot due to the narrowness of nearby streets.
When quizzed as to who was responsible for the situation that had developed, the minister said that although the government had created laws for safety, "the issue is the enforcement of laws".
Governor Ismail accused the PPP-led provincial government of negligence, saying it was responsible for the poor condition of institutions responsible for rescue operations.
He said that such type of incidents could be avoided only if institutions work properly. "The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) isn't seen at the site [of such incidents] for hours. There should be some accountability."