KARACHI: One person died and three were injured after the ceiling of a five-star hotel caved in on top of them on Thursday night, police said.
Though there was no word from the management of Pearl-Continental Hotel Karachi about the incident, the police said the collapsed roof was an “old and ill-maintained false ceiling” of the lobby on the hotel’s ground floor.
“It’s a false ceiling of one of the hotel’s lobbies on the ground floor,” said South Senior Superintendent of Police Asad Raza.
“Apparently, the roof looks old and not maintained for quite some time,” he said, adding that facts would be revealed after an investigation, but it seemed that the ceiling fell due to wind pressure or some leakage.
“The exact reason behind the incident has yet to be ascertained. However, it proved fatal because the false ceiling was made of concrete material. One person has lost his life in the incident,” he said.
Eyewitnesses said the roof collapsed a little after 11pm, triggering panic in the hotel, which had a moderate number of visitors at the time of the incident.
Footage and images shared on social media showed rubble covering the whole lobby of the hotel.
Seconds after the incident, the management closed all entrances to the hotel and evacuated all the visitors immediately through two exits.
Several ambulances of the government and charity organisations and two fire tenders were seen parked outside the hotel at the main intersection of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed and Club roads.
In a statement, Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, also confirmed the incident and said rescue operation was under way. The identity of the deceased has yet to be ascertained.
“Pakistan Rangers personnel rushed to the site and started a rescue operation immediately with other rescue organisations,” the statement said.
According to APP, rescuers rushed to the site for shifting the body and the injured to hospital.
Further investigations are under way.
Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2022