12 killed in Lyari building collapse

Rescue efforts continue, 12 reported dead says DC South.

Express August 04, 2011

KARACHI: Rescue efforts were under way in Moosa Lane in Lyari where in rescue teams were still looking for survivors trapped under the rubble on Friday.

According to Deputy Commissioner South Mustafa Jamal, 26 residents are still missing while 12 bodies had been recovered in 24 hours. He had also directed for three surrounding buildings to be evacuated.

However it remains unclear as to how many people were inside the building at the time of collapse.

Only 30% of the rubble has been removed as the congested streets of Lyari are proving to be a hurdle in the rescue efforts. Many ambulances are still on site.

Rescue teams were avoiding use of heavy machinery to remove the debris.

Earlier four people, including three children were reported killed and several people injured after the six-story building collapsed in the Lyari area of Karachi on Thursday.

Express 24/7 correspondent Ahmed Jung reported that the entire building had collapsed.

Rescue sources have said many people are still trapped under the debris.

More than 20 people, including women and children, have been rescued from the rubble, while residents of the area are currently helping with the rescue operation. All injured have been shifted to a nearby hospital.

Rescuers are facing difficulties in reaching the trapped residents owing to the congested pathway towards the collapse site.

Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah has directed Commissioner Karachi to use heavy machinery for rescue work.

Many more buildings in dilapidated condition

The building that caved in the Lyari area of Karachi on Thursday was not the only building that was in dilapidated condition.

Residents of the area said there are at least a dozen more buildings in similar condition.

Residents of Lyari said these dilapidated buildings can collapse any time and their life and property is in danger.

The inhabitants of these buildings said they cannot afford to leave them due to their poor financial condition.

They have also demanded the concerned authorities to provide them with alternate accommodation.

Talking exclusively to the Express 24/7 assistant commissioner Iqbal Ahmed Merani said dangerous buildings will be evacuated soon.

Similarly, buildings that have been constructed in violation of rules and regulations will also be evacuated.

Sources said around 1000 buildings in Karachi have been declared dilapidated and dangerous for living.

This is not the first such incident in the area as three other buildings have collapsed over the past two years in the same neighbourhood, and an additional four in the rest of the city.

Army units called in to help rescue

Given the precarious nature of the buildings in the immediate vicinity of the of the collapsed structure and a lack of access for heavier machinery. The Commissioner of Karachi has requested the army to send in specialised units to provide technical assistance.

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