flames and thick smoke billow out of the Pakistan Stock Exchange building, while (right) a snorkel is being used to douse the fire that erupted in an office on the fourth floor of the building, on Monday.—PPI / Reuters
flames and thick smoke billow out of the Pakistan Stock Exchange building, while (right) a snorkel is being used to douse the fire that erupted in an office on the fourth floor of the building, on Monday.—PPI / Reuters

KARACHI: Hundreds of people were evacuated safely and no one was reported injured in a fire that erupted in the Pakistan Stock Exchange building off I.I. Chundrigar Road on Monday morning.

Police and rescue officials said that the fire broke out in the office of a brokerage house at the fourth floor and soon spread to the fifth floor, forcing authorities to evacuate people present inside the building.

The incident also led to the suspension of trading activity for two hours.

DIG-South Syed Asad Raza told Dawn that the fire broke out on the fourth floor of the PSX building at around 8:30am. One brokerage house and private bank offices were located on it. The employees present there were evacuated from emergency gates/routes.

He said that some eight fire tenders managed to control the fire after hectic efforts. The fire was completely extinguished and no injury was reported.

The brokerage firm’s office, furniture and documents were completely destroyed.

Sindh Government’s Rescue-1122 official Hassaan Khan told Dawn that the cause of the fire appeared to be a short circuit as the electric distribution box was burnt. He said that this could only be confirmed in the final report of the incident.

Initially, the rescue team faced difficulties because of smoke. However, with the help of one snorkel, the rescue workers entered the premises and doused the fire on both the affected floors at around 11:32am. He said they received information about the fire at around 9:19am.

The official said that PSX building had “fire extinguishers” but it lacked adequate fire safety measures.

He opined that simple fire extinguishers were not ‘useful’ for controlling such a huge fire.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2024

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