KARACHI: A 17-year-old A-level student was killed when a large piece of concrete of a roof broke off and fell on him on main Khayaban-i-Sahar in Defence Housing Authority, Phase-VII, in presence of his parents, who remained miraculously unhurt in the incident, Dawn learnt on Sunday.
Mustafa Hashmi, student of Nixor College in the DHA, was killed on 26 Ramazan.
Speaking to Dawn, Mahmood Alam Hashmi, architect by profession, said that their life was devastated as Mustafa was their only son.
He got a portion of 500 square yards home on rent around six months ago.
The family was told to get the house repaired with their own finances, which they did.
Teen dies in his sleep when roof patch breaks off and fell on him
“I did not realise as to how much shoddy and deadly construction it was,” said the grief-stricken father.
He recalled that after Zuhr prayer on 26 Ramazan, he and wife Khadija Hashmi and their son Mustafa Hashmi were asleep in a room. His son was preparing for the A-level examinations as he had already appeared in two papers.
“When suddenly, we hear a huge sound,” said the father. He recalled that a heavy thick piece of concrete slab had fallen on them. The parents, however, remained safe. The concrete piece had fallen on the head of their son.
“My son died in sleep as he did not cry or utter any word,” Mr Hashmi recalled. He said he realised that their dear one was no more but they took him to Dr Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.
The father complained that the private hospital refused to give them the death certificate of their son reportedly citing ‘legal complications’.
He said he took his son to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre to get a death certificate where he used ‘sifarish’ (recommendation) to get the certificate prepared by the medico-legal section.
Subsequently, the coffin was taken to Chhipa morgue.
His funeral prayers took place at Masjid Khadija in DHA at night of 27 Ramazan, which were attended by relatives and others.
Mahmood Hashmi said that his son had lately started course of Hifz-i-Quran.
Substandard building construction
“My son died due to negligence; had the owner maintained its repair properly, my would have been alive today,” observed the father.
He said he might not seek legal proceedings into it, but he wanted to highlight the fact that there were many houses with substandard construction in the DHA and he did not want that whatever happened to them should happen to others.
Mahmood Hashmi said he himself was an architect by profession, but even he could not realise the shoddy construction and wondered as to how others would know that a construction was of a substandard quality.
He said he would not live anymore in the same bungalow, but he wanted that the owners before giving their house or its portion on rent to others should not do such thing and got their homes repaired properly to avoid such tragedies.
A senior police officer, whose son was a class fellow of victim Mustafa Hashmi, said that he was shocked to know when his son had informed him that his friend had died because of the some shoddy construction in DHA.
Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2022