KARACHI: As the death toll in the Pearl-Continental Hotel roof collapse incident rose to two, police on Friday asked the city administration to initiate an inquiry by the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) to ascertain the exact causes of the incident.

South-SSP Asad Raza said the false ceiling that collapsed in the lobby of the five-star hotel on Thursday night was made of concrete. A total of two persons were killed and as many injured in the incident.

He said so far no private complainant had approached the police for registration of an FIR.

He said the second victim, identified as Faraz Shah, died during treatment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. He was a driver of the hotel, he said,

The first victim, Raees, was the employee of a private company that had arranged a dinner for its staff, he said.

Another injured dies during treatment; hotel management says authorities cleared site after inspection

The police said that the ceiling of the Marco Polo Hall near the entrance fell on the people causing panic in the hotel.

Videos and images shared on social media showed rubble littering the whole lobby of the hotel. Seconds after the incident, all entrances to the hotel were closed and visitors evacuated through two exits.

“Apparently, the roof looks old and not maintained for quite some time,” he said, adding that it appeared that the ceiling fell because of wind pressure or some leakage.

“We have asked the deputy commissioner to conduct an inquiry with the help of SBCA or some other experts to ascertain the exact cause of the incident,” he said.

Hotel management launches own probe

The management of the PC Hotel stated in a statement that it had started a probe into the incident and was working with emergency services.

“The local administration and all concerned authorities have inspected and cleared the site,” it said.

The management extended its condolences towards all the people impacted by the collapse, offering assurances that the “hotel staff has been diligently providing assistance to our guests”.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected, and we are in communication with them,” it said.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2022

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