The rescue and cleanup operation at the site of a three-storey building that collapsed last Monday following an explosion came to an end on Friday.
The death toll rose to 24 when the body of Nadeem Ishaq, 35, was recovered late Thursday night.
Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation and Civil Defence volunteers helped the Rescue and Edhi workers in the five-day operation. Rescue officials appreciated the residents for their help and support throughout the operation.
Sixteen people were pulled alive from the debris, of which one died at the hospital.
Rescue officials said that 22 bodies were recovered on February 7, and two on February 9.
A city government spokesperson said that a District Emergency Board meeting will be held next week. He said a proposal for a survey of all dangerous buildings in the city and planning for their demolition will be discussed at the meeting.
Police barred from ‘harassing’ owners
Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik of Lahore High Court on Friday sought comments from city police by February 17 on insertion of murder charge in the FIR registered against the owners of a factory that collapsed on February 6.
As many as 23 people died as a result.
The judge also barred the city police from harassing the owners.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Zafar Iqbal, Zaheer Iqbal and Zubair, owners of the veterinary medicines company at the collapsed building, challenging the insertion of the murder clause in the FIR.
Their counsel Advocate Khurram Latif Khan Khosa submitted that Sabzazar police had unlawfully inserted sections related to murder, attempted murder, intentional harm and public nuisance in the FIR. He requested that the court quash the FIR to the extent of murder charge.
The petitioner said they have been granted interim bails by Additional District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry Nazeer Ahmad, but the police were still harassing them.
They said the police had unlawfully sealed their houses and warehouse, and impounded their vehicles.
The petitioners also requested the court for a direction to police to assign investigation of the case to an honest officer.
The judge directed the capital city police officer to stop harassing the petitioners and file a reply by February 17 on the FIR.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2012.