KARACHI: As health authorities are still clueless about the exact cause of death of the 18 people who lost their life during two weeks apparently because of inhaling toxic gases emitted from some factories in a Keamari neighbourhood, police on Sunday registered a manslaughter and negligence case against owners of three such industrial units.
Moachko SHO Chaudhry Shahid told Dawn that an FIR had been lodged against three nominated factory owners on the complaint of one of the residents whose four family members died recently in Ali Mohammad Goth located on Suparco Road near Mowach Goth.
The case was registered under Sections 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code against the factory owners — Khair Mohammed alias Sher Mohammed, Shahid Husain and Saeed Khan.
Complainant Khadim Husain stated in the FIR that he lived in Ali Mohammad Goth along with his family. He said in residential areas, several factories involved in recycling goods in large quantities had been established.
As the factory owners did not take safety measures, hazardous smoke, a pungent smell and dust emissions from these factories had caused environmental degradation, whose accumulative effect on human life had proved horrible, he said, adding that because of this, four members of his family fell sick between Jan 12 and Jan 21 at different times and all of them died.
Health authorities launch immunisation drive in Ali Mohammad Goth
The complainant identified the victims as his wife Razia, 32, two sons — Shoaib, 18, and Shahid, 4, and one-year-old daughter, Haleema.
The FIR states that besides the complainant’s family, other children had also died due to hazardous smoke, smell and dust in his neighbourhood, but all those persons had been buried without completing any medico-legal proceedings or informing the police.
“These deaths occurred owing to the negligence of the factory owners,” the complainant stated in the FIR.
The area SHO told Dawn that as per reports of the health department, at least 18 persons including children had died in the village.
He said one of the three nominated suspects, Khair Mohammed, had so far been arrested and further investigations were underway.
Vaccination drive ordered
The Sindh health department has asked the district health officer-Keamari to initiate immediate immunisation drive among eligible population of Ali Mohammad Goth.
The directives were issued after taking note of the initial findings of an EPI surveillance team that conducted field visits of the area concerned and reported poor vaccination status of the localities.
The department ordered the DHO-Keamari to depute more vaccinators on an urgent basis and submit a report as soon as possible.
Earlier on Saturday, the health department hinted that measles virus could not be excluded as a risk factor of outbreak that killed several people including children over the past two weeks.
Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.