HYDERABAD: A building collapsed on Hussaini Road, near the clock tower in downtown Sukkur on Thursday, leaving at least three people dead, including a one-year-old boy.
While 12 injured persons have been rescued from the debris at the time of filing, at least five people were still believed to be trapped in the rubble.
According to locals in the area, three families resided in as many apartments in the three-storey building, which also housed four shops on its ground floor. "The building suddenly collapsed with a huge bang," narrated Zubair Memon, a trader.
Unconfirmed reports stated that there were around 20 people in the building when it caved in. The exact number of trapped persons could not be confirmed. Meanwhile, emergency was declared at local hospitals.
Local authorities have confirmed three deaths, which include two young women and a child. The deceased were identified as Khalida Adnan Mughal, 25, Shaheen, 25, and her one-year-old son, Jibran Arsalan.
Another building at risk of collapsing in Timber Market
Edhi volunteers, army engineers, fire department officials, police, Rangers and local volunteers engaged in rescue efforts, amid reported cries for help by those trapped under the debris.
As efforts continued, people from the area complained that it took the district administration over an hour to send heavy machinery to help with the rescue attempts.
Meanwhile, the Sukkur Electric Supply Company also shut down the power supply to the locality, as an electricity pole and a transformer also reportedly fell to the ground along with the building. The blackout left rescuers working in the dark. The roads leading to the site were also reportedly blocked after the incident.
Sukkur Municipal Corporation Arsalan Islamuddin Shaikh denied the reports of any death at the time of filing, claiming that a rescued man had suffered a head injury and had been shifted to Larkana for treatment.
Shaikh maintained that it was the responsibility of the Sindh Building Control Authority to regulate the construction of new buildings as well as existing structures in order to ensure that such incidents do not recover.
Taking notice of the incident, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah called Sukkur Commissioner Shafique Mahesar to direct him to carefully rescue those trapped in the debris.
He ordered him to support the families by all possible means, adding that the injured should be provided the best medical facilities. Shah also directed officials to submit a detailed report of the tragedy.
The incident occurred three days after a six-storey building came crashing down in Ranchore Lines in Karachi on Monday. No casualties were reported in the previous incident.
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