16 dead as rain batters Islamabad, Lahore

Published July 20, 2023
Troops arrive to monitor the flood situation from a bridge built over a stream near a residential area in Rawalpindi on July 19. — AFP
Troops arrive to monitor the flood situation from a bridge built over a stream near a residential area in Rawalpindi on July 19. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Eleven workers were crushed to death early on Wednesday when a portion of the outer wall of a sprawling military compound collapsed after being weakened by rains on the outskirts of Islamabad, police and rescue officials said.

In Lahore, five people, including two children, were electrocuted in different areas amid rains.

The 11-foot-high wall fell while the labourers, working to build a nearby underpass, slept in their tents at the construction site near Golra Mor. Five workers were also injured in the incident.

Rescue workers used machinery to retrieve the labourers trapped under the rubble. The workers were shifted to the hospital, where 11 of them were pronounced dead.

 Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a wall collapse that killed 11 labourers on the outskirts of Islamabad, on Wednesday.—AFP
Rescue workers search for survivors at the site of a wall collapse that killed 11 labourers on the outskirts of Islamabad, on Wednesday.—AFP

The capital administration said the incident happened as the construction of the underpass on G.T. Road was in progress by the National Highway Authority.

The workers were inside the makeshift tent set up under the wall to take shelter from the rain when the wall fell on them.

The administration said all departments concerned have been put on high alert due to the torrential rains in Islamabad. The meteorological depart­­ment has predicted more rains in the capital in the coming days.

The capital administration said its staff was in the field to assess the situation in view of the weather prediction.

The deceased workers were identified as Mohammad Shoaib, Kareem, Noor Mohammad, Kalim Ullah, Akbarzadha, Israfil, Noman, Mohammad Khali, Yasin, Jallal Din, and Zahid.

The five injured, under treatment at the hospital, were identified as Farooq, Mohammad Shakil Inayat, Abdul Rehman and Molim Khan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the deaths and prayed for the departed soul and patience for their family members. He instructed the administration to be on high alert amid heavy rains.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also expressed sorrow over the incident.

Meanwhile, the five people killed in Lahore on Wednesday included 10-year-old Saifullah and 12-year-old Zubair, who were electrocuted when they touched an electric pole in Charar village, the police said.

According to Rescue 1122, Ejaz, 28, lost his life when he was electrocuted from an electric board in Raiwind’s OPF Society, while an unidentified person was electrocuted in the Thokar Niaz Beg neighbourhood.

Besides, 30-year-old Ashraf was electrocuted in the main bazaar of Qalandarpura.

The bodies were handed to the families after medical and legal formalities.

Monsoon rains have been lashing the country since the last week of June, killing over 100 people in weather-related incidents. The rains have also swelled rivers in Punjab, swamping hundreds of villages and displacing at least 15,000 people.

The rains returned a year after climate-induced downpours inundated at one point one-third of the country, killing more than 1,700 people. The floods also caused $30 billion in damage last year.

Imran Gabol in Lahore also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

By-election trends
Updated 23 Apr, 2024

By-election trends

Unless the culture of violence and rigging is rooted out, the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan will continue to remain under a cloud.
Privatising PIA
23 Apr, 2024

Privatising PIA

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s reaffirmation that the process of disinvestment of the loss-making national...
Suffering in captivity
23 Apr, 2024

Suffering in captivity

YET another animal — a lioness — is critically ill at the Karachi Zoo. The feline, emaciated and barely able to...
Not without reform
Updated 22 Apr, 2024

Not without reform

The problem with us is that our ruling elite is still trying to find a way around the tough reforms that will hit their privileges.
Raisi’s visit
22 Apr, 2024

Raisi’s visit

IRANIAN President Ebrahim Raisi, who begins his three-day trip to Pakistan today, will be visiting the country ...
Janus-faced
22 Apr, 2024

Janus-faced

THE US has done it again. While officially insisting it is committed to a peaceful resolution to the...