Labourer dies, 10 hurt as building being built in ‘haste’ collapses in Karachi

Published August 17, 2022
Rescue work is under way to pull labourers from the rubble of an under-construction building that collapsed in Surjani Town on Tuesday.—PPI
Rescue work is under way to pull labourers from the rubble of an under-construction building that collapsed in Surjani Town on Tuesday.—PPI

KARACHI: A labourer was killed while 10 others were injured when a multi-storey under-construction building collapsed in Surjani Town in the early hours of Tuesday morning, officials said.

Surjani SHO Shahid Baloch said the four-storey building fell down after midnight in Sector-4-D, near Green Bus terminus.

Area people, police, Rangers and rescuers rushed to the spot and dug out 11 people from the debris and took them to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where Waryam, 27, died during treatment, added the SHO.

He added that experts from the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) would be in a better position to describe the exact cause of the collapse.

Police book builder, contractors over manslaughter

However, it was certain that ‘substandard material’ was being used in the construction as side pillars and roofs weren’t properly fitted with iron rods in the pillars, he said.

There were reports that the builder had not only accelerated the construction work after someone had challenged its legality before the Sindh High Court but also ‘pressurised’ labourers to stay there for day and night construction.

However, the area SHO said he could not confirm such reports. But, he conceded that labourers were living in the building as the 10 people injured were all labourers while the 11th person was a passer-by, who suffered minor injuries.

He said that all the people buried under the debris were retrieved.

The officer pointed out that around three-four truckloads of debris had been removed and more removal work was under way as it might take a few more days to clear the place. He said due to heavy rains, the debris removal work had been stopped.

Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed said 11 injured persons were brought to the ASH with varying nature and degree of injuries. Two of them suffered serious head injuries.

A Rangers spokesperson said that their personnel had joined rescue efforts and recovered the injured people from the debris.

Meanwhile, a SBCA team reached the scene and carried out an inspection.

Builder, four others booked for manslaughter

In the evening, the Surjani police lodged an FIR against the builder, two contractors and as many supervisors.

The case was registered on behalf of the state through police officer Abdul Khaliq under Sections 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 intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code against builder Mohammed Shoaib, contractors Abdul Majeed and Sadiq and supervisors Noman and Asad.

The FIR said the under-construction building collapsed due to use of substandard material and negligence of the builder and contractors.

Besides the death of one labourer and injuries to others, three parked rickshaws and one car were also destroyed, while nearby buildings also damaged. Last month, a six-storey building in Moosa Colony collapsed a few hours after its residents vacated it.

On July 13, a man was killed when a multi-storey dilapidated building collapsed in old city area of Lyari.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2022

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