KARACHI: Six workers died after a fall from the 13th floor of a 23-storey under-construction building in Clifton as the construction lift buckled on Saturday morning, Boat Basin police and hospital officials said.
Six workers were trying to install glasses on the 13th floor of the building with the help of a lift fitted with a trolley when its rope broke, said Boat Basin SHO Mohammed Ashfaq.
As a result, the lift twisted and all the labourers in the trolley fell to the ground. They sustained critical injuries.
“Three of them died on the spot, two others while being taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the sixth one succumbed to injuries during treatment,” said the area SHO.
Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the JPMC, confirmed that five labourers — Abdul Rehman, 30, Mohammed Asad, 21, Faisal Islam, 32, Riaz Khan, 29 and Nasir Shamshad, 30 — were brought dead to the facility. The sixth labourer, Musab, died during treatment, she added.
SHO Ashfaq said that the builder, Aga Amin Patel, was constructing a 23-storey building in Block 7 of Clifton.
CM orders probe, minister promises compensation, SP wants building owner booked over tragedy
Clifton SP Suhai Aziz said she had directed the police to register a case against the owner on behalf the state in case the victims’ relatives did not approach the police for it.
The Clifton SP, who visited the site, told Dawn that the district administration and the Sindh Building Control Authority were conducting an inquiry to ascertain the exact cause of the incident.
CM orders inquiry into incident
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the tragedy and sought an inquiry report from the commissioner of Karachi. Mr Shah asked the authorities who was monitoring the quality of the construction of the building.
“The Sindh government would conduct a thorough probe into the incident,” said Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab.
Minister for Labour Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, who visited the site, told Dawn that the construction work had been stopped and the building sealed by the district administration and SBCA, which had put up banners to that effect there.
The minister said that they were trying to get the construction workers registered at the labour department to provide them compensation in such a tragedy and bring the builders to justice through a labour court. Mr Baloch said that three deceased workers belonged to the rural areas of Sindh while the other three were residents of the city. He promised that compensation would be paid to the heirs of the victims.
Meanwhile, South SSP Pir Mohammed Shah said that there was “criminal negligence” on part of the builder as no helmets or ropes were provided to the workers in case of a fall to save their lives.
On Feb 25, a couple and their two young sons died when a ground-plus three-storey building collapsed in Malir’s Jaffar-i-Tayyar Society.
Saturday’s tragedy in Clifton once again highlighted the lack of proper precautions and safety measures at multistorey buildings. Workers are often seen performing their duty without any safety gear.
Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2019