KARACHI, May 16: Three people were killed and another 18 injured when a factory building collapsed in North Karachi’s industrial area on Thursday.
Witnesses said that they were having breakfast at a tea-stall outside the Labaik Hosiery Factory in Sector 12-D at about 8-30am when the first floor of the building collapsed with a big bang.
At the time of the accident there were only 10 to 15 workers on the ground and first floors of the building because the morning shift had not yet started.
The Town Nazim of New Karachi, Shafeequr Rehman Usman, said that efforts were being made to retrieve the bodies. He said three bodies had been spotted and one worker was missing.
Teams of the police, Rangers, Edhi Trust, and fire brigade arrived at the spot and launched rescue operation. A sniffer dog of the Pakistan Army was also brought to the site of the building. The fire brigade rescued over a dozen workers who were trapped in the rubble.
However, only one body, that of Ahmed Yar, could be recovered from the rubble till the filing of this report. Rescue workers had to cut through the twisted iron rods to recover the body. Around 5pm, the structure was demolished by using a crane.
The injured were brought to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. They were identified as Mohammad Zubair, Saeed Arif, Iman Din, Safee, Yaqoob, Jehanzeb, Mohibullah, Munir Khan, Bahadur Ali, Nazimuddin, Mohammad Arif, Umar Khatab, Sardar Khan, Sajid Ali, Hameedullah, Sadaqat and Jameel. One of the victims, Najeedullah, was referred to the JPMC.
Bahadur Ali, who was admitted to the ASH with a fractured leg, told Dawn, that he was near the gate of the factory when the building collapsed.
The North Karachi Association of Trade and Industry said in a statement that due to excessive use of chemicals during the bleaching process at the first floor, the building material, particularly iron rods, might have weakened over the years.
Some members of the association said that the owner of the building, Amir Ghaffar Loan, had rented the factory premises. They said negotiations were under way to purchase the building which was constructed in 1985-86.