At least two people were killed and 10 others were injured after a two-storey building collapsed in Bihar Colony in Karachi's Lyari area on Sunday, according to police.
City Senior Superintendent of Police Muquddus Haider said that there were godowns on the ground floor and residential rooms in the second storey that were mostly occupied by labourers.
Haider said that the structure of the building appeared to be faulty, which was further weakened due to construction activity on the adjacent plot.
“It appeared to be criminal negligence of the owners of both, the building and the plot, as well as that contractor that caused this tragedy and an FIR would be registered against them,” he declared.
Editorial: Another building collapse
The injured residents as well as the deceased were taken to the Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.
A first information report against the owners and builders of the collapsed building and the neighbouring plot was filed on behalf of the State.
Karachi Commissioner Sohail Rajput, who visited the site after the incident with South Deputy Commissioner Irshad Sodhar, said that the building may have collapsed due to construction activity that was going on in an adjacent plot which may have harmed its "old structure".
DC Sodhar said that the 30-room building, of which a portion collapsed today, was being razed by the SBCA for the safety of people.
District commissioners have been directed to identify and evacuate buildings that were at risk of collapsing in order to avoid further such incidents.
“They (DCs) have been further instructed to take legal action against all ongoing construction in the city happening without due process of approval from relevant agencies,” Rajput said.
Earlier, speaking on the collapse of the building, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had called for fixing responsibility for the casualties and damages.
"Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has been a nightmare for Karachi. We need to redesign our strategy for SBCA, this is not working at all," he tweeted.
President of PTI Karachi chapter and member Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman termed the incident "saddening" and called for speeding up of the rescue operation.
Officers of the SBCA who have shown carelessness should be arrested, he said, adding that the authority had become an ATM for the Sindh government.
"The Sindh government should be ashamed of the frequent incidents resulting in the loss of lives," he said.
Zaman also directed volunteers of the Tiger Force to help with rescue work.
4th such incident of the year
This is the second building to collapse in the metropolis within a week and the fourth since the start of the year. On Thursday, four people were killed and at least 10 others injured after a multi-storeyed residential building collapsed in Karachi's Korangi area.
Karachi Commissioner Rajput who visited the site on Thursday said he had ordered an inquiry into the incident and directed the administration to submit preliminary report urgently. Separately, Karachi Administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani had said that inquiry would be held to ascertain the reason behind building collapse.
He said that three- to five-storey buildings had been built in many residential areas of Karachi where only ground-plus one structures were permissible.
"Action will be taken against [those] responsible for allowing such constructions as such buildings are dangerous for human lives."
In June, a five-storey building collapsed in Karachi resulting in the deaths of at least 22 people.
In March, a building collapsed in the Gulbahar area, killing 27 people and injuring at least 17 others.