Nine children perish, 20 injured as blaze wreaks havoc in Dadu village

Published April 20, 2022
CLOCKWISE from top left: Villagers take refuge at a temporary camp close to their burnt out village; affected families helplessly watch their destroyed households and belongings; in these screengrabs, dead animals are seen and one of three tractors that was destroyed by the fire.—Dawn
CLOCKWISE from top left: Villagers take refuge at a temporary camp close to their burnt out village; affected families helplessly watch their destroyed households and belongings; in these screengrabs, dead animals are seen and one of three tractors that was destroyed by the fire.—Dawn

DADU: Nine children died and more than 20 other men and women suffered severe burns when a fire raged through Faiz Mohammad Daryani Chandio village, some 30 kilometres from Mehar town of Dadu district, on Monday evening and reduced all 50 houses and everything present inside to ashes. Around 150 buffaloes, cows, goats and other animals also perished in the fire.

The over 20 injured persons were admitted to different government and private hospitals in Mahar and Larkana. Most of them were stated to be in critical condition.

In two other similar incidents of fire within the district, over 60 houses were destroyed and dozens of animals perished.

A pall of gloom hung over Faiz Mohammad Daryani Chandio village when the fire started from the kitchen of a thatched house and swiftly engulfed all other houses one after the other due to strong winds within the next 10 minutes. According to the affected families, the blaze started at around 9pm on Monday and raged through the village, falling within the jurisdiction of the Faridabad police station, over the next 12 hours. No fire tenders reached the village until it subsided at 8am in the morning, the villagers said.

Extremely shocked Imamuddin Chandio said he collected charred bodies of his three sons, More, 16, Rasheed, 10, and Alam, 9, and one daughter, Nargis, 4, after flames in and around his house subsided.

Uncontrollably wailing Bahar Khan said his two sons, Abdul Rasool, 13, and Hussain, 5, and daughter, Sawera, 10, burned alive in the incident. He said his wife, Mota Khan, 40, received serious burns while trying to save their children. Her condition at the burns ward of a major hospital in Larkana was critical till last reports came in, he said on late Tuesday evening. He said the condition of his two other sons, Juman, and Jamshed, and another child, Ali Nawaz, son of Punhal Chandio, was also stated to be critical.

He said he alone lost 30 buffaloes, cows and goats to the fire. Many herds belonging to other villagers also perished, he added.

A 10-year-old boy, Zaman, son of Ikram Chandio, and a five-year-old girl, Tehmina, daughter of Rustam Chandio, were also killed in the fire.

The blaze caused heavy losses to all families living in the village. Around 15,000 maunds of wheat, rice and other grains, besides cash, jewellery, furniture, household articles, three tractors and all personal belongings of the families were destroyed.

Dadu SSP Irfan Ali Samoo confirmed the death of nine persons and said all the bodies were brought to the Mahar Taluka Hospital for a post-mortem examination. However, medical superintendent Dr Abdul Hameed Gorar said the hospital received eight bodies and four seriously injured patients.

The villagers said that district administration and the town committee concerned had been informed of the huge fire promptly but no fire tenders were sent to extinguish it and rescue people. Nor did any elected representative or district official bothered to visit the village, they added.

Three more villages hit by fire

Three more incidents of fire occurred within the district on Tuesday.

In Jalib Rind village, near Sita Road town, 50 thatched and mud houses were reduced to ashes.

A stock of paddy grass caught fire in fields and the flames engulfed five scores of houses in the village while strong winds swept through the area.

The affected villagers said the fire destroyed around 6,000 maunds of grain, household articles, furniture, jewellery, cash and other valuables. At least fifty cattle heads were killed by the fire, they added.

People had to put out the blaze on their own as no fire tenders turned up, the villagers complained.

Another fire broke out in Mohammad Khoso village near Khairpur Nathan Shah town.

It destroyed 11 houses and killed more than 30 animals, besides reducing around 200 maunds of grain and people’s belongings to ashes.

Yet another fire destroyed five houses and affected families’ belongings in Saleh Solangi village near the shrine of Shah Panjo in Mehar taluka.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2022

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