Shah Alam cleanup: Five bodies found

Five bodies have been recovered while rescue workers, volunteers say debris still burning hot.


Express/rameez Khan February 14, 2011

LAHORE: Five bodies were recovered from the rubble of the buildings that collapsed in Lahore's Shah Alam market fire a few days ago.

A cleanup operation is underway in the market, while the bodies that were found were shifted to a nearby hospital for identification.

A body was found from the rubble on Sunday as well.

Updated from print edition (below)

Shah Alam cleanup: Six people still missing

Rescue workers and volunteers continue to look for six bodies in the debris of the plazas in the Shah Alam Market that collapsed six days ago in a fire that raged for 36 hours.

Eighty workers of the Rescue 1122 service and some 300 volunteers from the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation have been digging out bodies from under the rubble.

Muhammad Kamal, Muhammad Zaheer, Muzammil Shah, Sohail, Shamsul Qamar and an unidentified Christian worker are still missing.  A hand and feet of some burned bodies were found from the rubble of the Bahria Plaza Saturday night. The body of Bakhtzada was dug out late on Friday.

Rescue workers said beneath the surface some of the debris was still burning hot. “At some points, fire erupted afresh during the shoveling,” a rescue worker said.

A volunteer from the Falah-i- Insanyat, Abdullah Askari, said that the volunteers were working under the supervision of the Rescue 1122 workers.

The supervisors do not allow the volunteers to enter dangerous locations, he said. The Rescue 1122 workers had identified the area where they were most likely to find some bodies.

Col (retired) Younus, the CDGL security additional director, said that the priority was given to locating the missing. Once it was done, he said, the removal of rubble would be faster. He said three contractors were hired to demolish the burned buildings.  Two of them backed out later on account of the difficulties.

“Now there is just one contractor at the site with 60 to 70 labourers working in three shifts,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2011.

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