KARACHI: The roof of Devi Bai Building in Machi Miani Market, Kharadar, collapsed on Tuesday night. A husband and wife, identified as Muhammad Akram, 35, and Nazia, 30, who were residing in the building were crushed to death under the debris while their daughters were rescued in time. Police said that the family was living there, despite the fact that the building had been declared dangerous.
Ambulances, fire tenders and police personnel reached the site after receiving information. Edhi volunteers rescued two girls who were trapped under a cupboard and shifted them to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital. The girls, identified as Zainab, 10, and Sania, 8, managed to survive the incident unscathed, confirmed doctors after medical examination.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Zainab said that the sisters and their parents were sleeping when the roof collapsed. "The cupboard fell on us," she recalled. "I don't know what happened next."
Their father, Muhammad Akram, 35, was pulled out of the debris an hour after the roof collapsed. He was not breathing by then and was shifted to the hospital where doctors confirmed his death. Their mother, Nazia, 30, was pulled out of the debris after half an hour and was declared dead by doctors after medical examination.
Kharadar SHO Inspector Ahsan Zulfiqar said that the Devi Bai Building was more than a 100 years old and had been declared dangerous a long time ago. The family had been told to evacuate the building but they had maintained that they were labourers and could not afford a house on rent.
There are many such buildings in the old city area which have been declared dangerous. Every other day, one of them collapses, putting human lives at risk. The deceased hailed from Punjab. The police will hand over the bodies of the deceased when their family arrives.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2019.