KARACHI: Trained sniffer dogs were unable to help rescue workers locate the bodies of people from the collapsed Qasr-e-Ruqayya in Lyari on the third day of the search Sunday. But surprisingly it was actually the cats who came to their aid.
The toll so far from the five-storey tragedy is 31. Rescue workers expressed the fear that more people are still in the wreckage and they are spraying chemicals to ward off putrefaction. There are still at least five missing bodies, estimated after a complete resident list was put together for the building.
The Urban Search and Rescue teams of the CDGK, which uses trained dogs, have stopped work. USAR chief Naeem Yousuf explained to The Express Tribune that their dogs can only help trace humans if they are alive under the debris. But surprisingly, the cats have proven invaluable, said the CDGK’s district officer for municipal services, who is in charge of the rescue, Khuda Bux. “The cats can smell the odour of decaying flesh and they tend to place themselves near the bodies,” he said.
The staff of Lyari town helped along with the army’s engineering corps. Bux said that the army’s presence helped greatly because they kept people away from the scene.
They will not be able to immediately use heavy machinery to remove the rubble to reach the bodies because the lane is too narrow. There are risks to the neighbouring Amina Tahir Manzil and Iqbal Mansion as their foundations have also been damaged. The entire chain of old buildings in the area is in danger because their foundations were apparently shaken in the tremours that hit the city recently.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ