Computer lab built 15 years ago in KU collapses

Published September 3, 2022
The lab in Karachi University reduced to rubble after its roof caved in on Friday. No one was hurt in the incident.
The lab in Karachi University reduced to rubble after its roof caved in on Friday. No one was hurt in the incident.

KARACHI: The roof of a computer lab situated in the arts faculty of Karachi University collapsed on Friday afternoon damaging valuable items inside. However, no casualty was reported.

Officials said that the lab of the Library and Information Science Department, located on the first floor of the arts faculty, was not being used for over three years.

“Twenty-five computers, the entire furniture in the lab and two air conditioners have been completely destroyed,” said Dr Farhat Hussain, in charge of the library and information science department.

He rejected reports about a student getting injured in the incident.

“I was at the site from 12 noon when this incident occurred till 5pm. None of the walls fell, though lab’s roof caved in,” he explained.

He added that the lab had been closed down three to four years back when the university ended a programme concerning computers.

Weak structures

Sources said several classrooms, labs and buildings on the KU campus were in shambles and the lab in question wasn’t an old one.

“The lab was built in 2007. It collapsed because it wasn’t an RCC (concrete reinforced cement) construction. The university’s engineering department has carried out the assessment of the fallen structure and will submit its report to the vice chancellor on Monday,” a senior university official told Dawn.

There were several such structures on the KU campus, he added.

The sources said while it’s the first case of collapse of an entire structure on the campus, incidents of falling plaster and leaking ceilings were common in many departments.

“Fortunately, the lab wasn’t being used for more than a year but anything could have happened,” Dr Ghufran Alam of the Karachi University Teachers’ Society said, while sharing teachers’ concern over the incident.

Last year, he recalled, a small portion of the ceiling fell in the biochemistry department.

“In that case, too, there was no injury. Perhaps, the university administration is waiting for a tragedy,” he regretted.

On behalf of Kuts, he demanded that the university administration immediately carry out a detailed professional evaluation of all buildings and classrooms on the campus as lives of thousands of students, teachers and non-teaching staff were at risk.

“Infrastructure of several departments is in shambles, including that of petroleum technology department, mathematics department and physiology department. The university administration must understand that carrying out repairs is not enough and there is an urgent need for a professional assessment of the infrastructure,” Dr Alam said.

No KU official was available for comments.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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