A view of the affected area on Wednesday. —Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
A view of the affected area on Wednesday. —Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: At least 150 huts were destroyed when a huge fire erupted in the Teen Hatti area on Tuesday night that was put out early on Wednesday morning after hectic efforts lasting for several hours, officials said.

A fire brigade official said that the fire broke out in the huts located under the Teen Hatti bridge, adjacent to the Lyari Expressway, at around 10.38pm on Tuesday, which engulfed the huts numbering around 200.

Three fire tenders with the help of four water tankers provided by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board put it out at 2.26am.

No casualty was reported.

The official said that the exact cause of the fire and estimate of losses could not be made immediately.

A Supermarket police officer said that around 150 huts were destroyed in the blaze.

DC to head body formed to inquire into the incident

The fire victims told the media that they had been living there for years. Some of them claimed that they were affectees of Lyari Expressway. Their homes were destroyed when the expressway was being built but they were not provided alternative residences.

Information Minister Saeed Ghani with Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani visited the area and met the affected people.

The minister said that no human casualty occurred in the fire and promised that the government would help the affected persons.

The commissioner told Dawn that apparently some cooking material triggered the fire as per the initial probe. However, he added that he had ordered an inquiry into it.

A family has a meal in what is left of their abode.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
A family has a meal in what is left of their abode.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

A spokesperson for the chief minister said that blankets, tents and food would be provided to the victims.

Edhi Foundation’s Faisal Edhi also gave food, warm clothes, blankets and other essential items to the women, men and children, said the spokesperson.

Probe body

An inquiry committee has been constituted to ascertain the facts of the fire, according to a notification issued by the Karachi commissioner.

The body would be led by deputy commissioner Central. Its members included the superintendent of police, Liaquatabad, chief fire officer of the KMC, municipal commissioner of the DMC-Central and a forensic expert from Karachi University.

The committee would determine the cause of the fire and ascertain the facts leading to its occurrence, propose measures to be taken to prevent such fire incidents in the future and fix responsibility under the Criminal Procedure Code for criminal negligence, if any.

The body has been directed to complete the report within two weeks.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020