KARACHI: Two persons, including a woman who had sustained burn injuries in the blaze that broke out in a high-rise building in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on March 21, succumbed to their wounds during treatment, increasing the death toll to four.
The fire had erupted on the fourth floor of the 12-storey Noor Trade center located on main University Road in Gulshan Iqbal's Block 13-A.
Two young men, identified as 35-year-old Jehanzeb, son of Sardar and 27-year-old Hamza, son of Masood Awan, had jumped from the building to save their lives but had died on the spot. At least nine others had sustained burns injuries, of whom two succumbed to their wounds during the course of treatment. The latest victims were identified as 32-year-old Noman and 22-year-old Saleha Ghous.
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Aziz Bhatti Police Station had registered a case on behalf of the state and handed it over to the investigation police. The investigation officer, Sub-Inspector Ghulam Hussain, said that the fire had erupted on the fourth floor and the smoke had quickly spread throughout the building. This had caused the people present in the building to panic.
According to IO Hussain, four persons were still in the hospital undergoing treatment. He said that the police were investigating the cause of the fire, the construction of the building, the presence of emergency exit routes and fire extinguishing equipment and other matters.
In this regard, relevant departments have been sent letters, seeking information about the building plans and to what extent the rules and regulations were followed.
IO Hussain said that since this was a major incident that had caused the loss of precious lives, the investigation was being carried out from all angles so that those guilty of criminal negligence could be identified.
The IO also said that the statements of those wounded in the incident, the relatives of the deceased and those who were present in the building are also being collected.
Meanwhile, the chief fire officer, Tehseen Siddiqui, told The Express Tribune that a report was being prepared by the fire department, which would be submitted within a week.
He added that it was learnt through the media that the committee formed by the Karachi Commissioner to investigate the incident had met on Monday, but he had not summoned even though he was a member. The fire department, according to Siddiqui, has still taken steps and a report regarding the incident would be submitted to the committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2019.
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