Two die, 10 hurt as another building collapses in city

14 Sep 2020

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An excavator is removing the debris of the collapsed building in Lyari on Sunday.—Shakeel Adil/ White Star
An excavator is removing the debris of the collapsed building in Lyari on Sunday.—Shakeel Adil/ White Star

KARACHI: Two people were killed and 10 others injured when a two-storey building collapsed in Lyari’s Bihar Colony on Sunday morning, officials and witnesses said.

It was a second incident in the city in less than a week as on Thursday a multi-storey building collapsed in Korangi’s Allah Wala Town resulting in death of four people.

Speaking to Dawn, City SSP Muqaddas Haider said that the building collapsed at around 10am. There were warehouses on the ground floor while some rooms were built on the upper floors where mostly labourers lived, he added.

Several people trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building and rescue services aided by law enforcement agencies launched an operation and saved 12 persons.

The rescued persons were shifted to the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, where two of them were pronounced dead on arrival.

The deceased were identified as Hayat Khan, 40, and Jan Mohammed, 30. They originally hailed from Bajaur.

Police say the building in Bihar Colony was illegally constructed; FIR lodged against four builders

The wounded were identified as Abdul Rehman, 30, Dawood, 25, Habib, 45, Umair Khan, 30, Sher Khan, 40, Samiullah, 25, Riaz, 18, Habib, 25, Umer Khan, 20, and Saeed Mohammed.

Chakiwara SHO Ayub Soomro told Dawn that condition of one of the injured was said to be critical.

Four builders booked in manslaughter case

SSP Haider said that it appeared that the structure of the collapsed building was faulty and it was further weakened due to construction of another building on an adjacent empty plot.

“It appears to be the criminal negligence of the owners of the both buildings,” he said.

Later, the Chakiwara police registered a case against four owners/builders of the nearby plot and collapsed building — Ali Marjan, Farooq Baloch, Ramzan and Jan under Sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings), 322 (manslaughter), 337-H(i) (punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 34 (common intentions) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The FIR said that suspects Marjan, Baloch and Ramzan used an excavator and created a ditch for constructing a building on an empty plot.

They were constructing the building illegally and without the approval of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA). Due to their alleged negligence, the structure of the nearby building was weakened.

The police said that the owner of the collapsed building had constructed his building with girders and without the approval of the SBCA and it collapsed because of his negligence.

Action against illegal buildings ordered

Karachi commissioner Sohail Rajput visited the site along with deputy commissioner-South Irshad Sodhar.

Speaking to Dawn, he said that the building was an old structure and it housed labourers from upcountry.

Mr Rajput said that several actions were being taken in the city to avoid such incidents in future.

The remaining structure of the collapsed building was demolished by the SBCA.

The commissioner said that all DCs had been directed to take legal action against all constructions in the city going on without obtaining approval from relevant agencies.

400 dilapidated buildings

City administrator Iftikhar Ali Shallwani also visited the site of the collapsed building and monitored the rescue work.

He said that more than 400 buildings were in a dilapidated condition in the city and notices were already issued to the residents for vacating their houses.

He appealed to citizens to cooperate with the authorities and vacate the dangerous buildings.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2020