HYDERABAD: At least five children were killed and a dozen others injured when a fire swept through an orphanage run by the federal government in Mirpurkhas late Thursday night.
The victims were separately laid to rest in Mirpurkhas and Tando Allahyar on Friday. The fire gutted a portion of the Baitul Mal-run orphanage, Pakistan Sweet Homes, which houses 100 children. The blaze reportedly engulfed one of the rooms where children were locked inside. The deceased, identified as Javed, Abdul Waheed, Abdul Samad, Nasir and Tajamul, were aged between eight and 10 years.
Police have detained three persons, including the district officer of the Baitul Mal Muhammad Amir, a woman working as a housekeeper in the orphanage and a watchman, but have not lodged a case against them.
The orphanage, it is learnt, was set up inside a rented bungalow in Liaquat Colony in Mirpurkhas and had no emergency safety equipment.
At least 10 more students were later pulled out alive.
The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained.
The management blames an electrical short-circuit for the fire, but police are convinced that the reckless use of mosquito repellent coils or the use of candles may have caused the tragedy.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2016.
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