12 killed in stampede at Zakat distribution point

Police arrest 7 employees of factory in Karachi; owner out of country to perform Umrah


Munawar Khan March 31, 2023
Screengrab from video footage shows a police vehicle at the scene of the deadly accident in Karachi's SITE industrial area.

print-news
KARACHI:

At least 12 people, including three children, were killed in a stampede during the distribution of Zakat at a private company at Norris Chowrangi, Sindh Industrial and Trading Estate (SITE) area.

According to preliminary details, women also died when they fell into the drain due to the stampede, while many other people were reported to be injured. The dead and injured were shifted to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

According to an Edhi Foundation volunteer, a stampede occurred due to the falling of a power line during the ration distribution, but the claim was later denied.

According to eyewitnesses, many people also fainted due to the stampede.

The police said 12 people died in the accident while five others were injured, of which three were in serious condition. “Women and children are also among the dead and injured.”

According to Baldia Town superintendent of police, the company did not inform about the ration distribution beforehand. “The water line leaked during the stampede, in which the electric wire fell, which caused the deaths.”

He said the police had detained seven people of the company and shifted them to the police station.

Keamari Senior Superintendent of Police Fida Hussain Janwari said that more than 400 people were present at the factory when a fire broke out. “The management also did not find any evidence of death due to electrocution. The deaths occurred due to suffocation.”

Keamari Deputy Commissioner Mukhtiar Ali Abro told the media at the scene that such sad incidents had happened before. The dyeing factory management was distributing ration and cash to the people, eh said, adding that before organising such a programme, it was necessary to inform and take permission from the police and district administration.

He said that the factory management did not give any information beforehand, which was against the law. “The owner of the factory has gone to perform Umrah. We will conduct further investigation when he returns, while seven people, including employees, have been arrested from the factory.”

The deputy commissioner said that the factory had been sealed immediately.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the tragic incident, seeking a report from the Karachi commissioner.

The chief minister announced financial assistance of Rs500,000 for each family of the victim.

Murad also announced Rs100,000 financial assistance for each injured person.
He directed the chief secretary to obtain the information of the deceased and injured immediately through the district administration.

“As soon as the data is collected, the relief money will be distributed among the victims.”

Murad said in a statement that the administration should report regularly for the distribution of ration and welfare work. “The report of the death of 12 people is very painful.”

The chief minister directed that the injured be shifted to a hospital immediately, saying: “I am saddened to hear that women were among the martyrs.”

Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that a tragic incident took place during the distribution of ration outside a private factory in Site Area, in which precious lives of children and women were lost due to a stampede.

He said, “The factory management did not give any information to the police and the district administration regarding the distribution of ration nor did they take permission.”

He said that an FIR was registered against the factory owners and seven persons had been arrested.

The provincial minister said that everyone wanted to do good deeds in the blessed month of Ramazan, appealing to philanthropists and non-governmental organisations to inform the district administration and police while doing good deeds so that they could be provided with adequate security.

He said that keeping in mind the sad incidents that happened in Punjab during the distribution of flour throughout Pakistan, the Sindh government decided to transfer the funds for the purchase of flour to the deserving families under the Benazir Income Support Programme so that such incidents did not happen.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ