Judicial tribunal to probe Karachi factory fire

Published: September 12, 2012
Investigation to look into the cause of fire, civil defence system available, extent of negligence on the owner's part. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/ THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

Investigation to look into the cause of fire, civil defence system available, extent of negligence on the owner's part. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/ THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

KARACHI: The Sindh government has appointed Justice (retired) Zahid Qurban Alvi on Wednesday to investigate the fire that broke out in a garment factory in the Baldia Town area of Karachi, killing around 289 people.  

An inquiry officer is asked to submit the findings within a week.

The investigation will look into the cause of the fire, the kind of civil defence system available inside the building and the extent of negligence on the owner’s part.

Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas has tasked DIG Manzur Mughul with the same job.

Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad announced a day of mourning in the city. He said that not only would action be taken against the factory owners, but officials of SITE, the labour department and civil defence would not be spared either. “The negligent officers of these departments are equally responsible,” he said.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Ambreen
    Sep 12, 2012 - 8:52PM

    wish it was also negligence on part of authorities to enforce safety measures


  • Zalim Singh
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:14PM



  • PTI Mardan
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:25PM

    So is the govt incapable of carrying out this simple investigation or they dont have time for this?Recommend

  • amir
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:27PM

    Should investigate

    1/ Safety measures at the factory
    2/ The KBCA who autorized construction of the factory

    Hold all parties accountable, esp the authority who authorized such a building


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:38PM

    Why in Pakistan investigations are always held after the death of innocent workers who were working in the factory to meet their end needs.

    The corrupt officials of the government departments right from the Sindh Control Board Authority (SBCA), Labour Department, Civil Defence and other related government departments who were authorised to give permission including the owners and operators of the factory to run are direct responsible for the loss of precious human lives and injuries to uncounted people.

    The investigations should not remain on the files that may be closed after few months but actually the responsible people should be publicly punished so that others should learn a lesson.


  • waseem
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:42PM

    huge loss of humanity
    May Allah keep their souls in peace


  • Syed
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:46PM

    Go thru all other buildings and correct any current issues with all of them. Lets hope nothing like this ever happen again


  • Khan of Cape Town
    Sep 12, 2012 - 9:50PM

    Judicial commissions and committees were formed for building collapse in Lahore one or two months ago, what is the result? These commissions have become a joke. I can recall at least one dozen recent commissions of similar incidents. Bhoja, Air blue, Building collapse, to name a few.


  • Maryam Tahir
    Sep 12, 2012 - 10:25PM

    Commission on commission but the result is always none.Will we ever move further?


  • Sep 12, 2012 - 10:56PM

    Will this be a speedy judicial probe with no teeth? Will factory owners be the only ones found guilty? Will Poor innocent hardworking factory workers continue to die because of MASSIVE corruption in City Departments, City Government, Provincial Government and Federal Government in Islamabad. Not only non-compliant factory owners but all corrupt officials allowing such dangerous conditions must be thrown in jail


  • Cautious
    Sep 13, 2012 - 12:17AM

    If you want to ascertain the cause of the fire — just hire an expert from the USA or one of the EU countries — avoid all the political intrigue/backbiting and get prompt and reliable results.


  • Mehran
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Very good step indeed. Judiciary should hold culprits accountable. This tragedy has also exposed how efficient and competent are the Ministers of MQM, their so called good governance speeches are mere silver coated words but on ground their performance is zero. MQM is holding this ministry for so many years and It is great failure of Ministry not to ensure “fire drills’, and safety measure in Industries. This tragedy should be an eye opener to whole Pakistan that PPP-MQM alliance is not people friendly. Let’s all unite against corrupt and incompetent rulers and let govt know that people are not ready to accept their politics of corruption, division and hate. Long Live Pakistan


  • Moosa Khan
    Sep 13, 2012 - 1:28AM

    Commissions, Investigations, Reports. Never heard of any outcome of any such happenings in past. Calm the mass and continue.
    How come two fires on the same day in two factories with huge casualties?


  • Sep 13, 2012 - 2:03AM

    I am totally agree with maryam tahir comment (Commission on commission but the result is always none.Will we ever move further?).


  • Syed
    Sep 13, 2012 - 2:46AM

    Agree with my name sake, there are many many buildings thoughout country that have potential similar to this. Remember GakhaR plaze in Rawalpindi? . Go to any market there are exposed bundles of electric wires running from here to there many generator running and hardly any proper exits for the thousands of people that are in the market at a given time. We tend to not learn from the lessons.


    Sep 13, 2012 - 3:52AM

    When the Government wants to hush up any serious matter Committees, Commissions etc are formed and people are busy for a fortnight and gradually slowly every thing is pushed under the carpet. People forget it. If after Judicial Commission all the Ministeries, Attached Department Heads should be taken to task irrespective of the fact whether they are Provincial Minister, Provincial Secretaries, Factories Inspector, Boiler Inspector or Electrical Inspector, Civil Defence Officers etc. Let them be tried in a court of law and whosoever, is sentenced should be sent to Mach Jail.


  • Visibly Invisible
    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:00AM

    What about running a large metropolis without a equipped fire department?


    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:19AM



  • Anonymous
    Sep 13, 2012 - 9:28AM

    If i take it in series of connections , why the gates were locked , the incident happened just a day before the strike call by all the parties against new local government law , it may be a conspiracy theory but if it has been done purposely to divert the complete attention from the protest which will happen today or the strike , then the Government has done the job already as both the parties has announced the 3 days mourning around the Sindh , Poor people died in numbers and this incident will be forgotten soon the issues get over… Mark the words and theory …..Recommend

  • Concerned Citizen
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:14AM

    I know there are many people at fault here but I don’t see a solution in this current Political structure. Such, moves of commissions and raids on industry will only and only massively increase the demand of the responsible officials for $$$. There is no concept of safety on part of the workers and owners. I remember when a worker was working on our office at a height without safety ropes, helmet and any other safety equipment I complained to the supervisor and his reply was that these safety equipment delay our job and we don’t need it. This is the attitude of us. We need to educate the workers and the owners of industries, shops, hotels, restaurants, etc about the safety and hygiene in the work place. But, again this is a very far fetched dream on my part. We us Pakistani’s cannot stop at a simple traffic light be it someone in expensive jeep/car or a poor person in his motorcycle, not forgetting the buses or government cars like the police.


  • Hasnain
    Sep 13, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Only the judicial probe can expose extortion demands from the factory’s owner.


  • ab
    Sep 14, 2012 - 12:29AM

    this incident most likely linked with bhatta khori issue which should also be investigated. i also think punishing the owner will not do any good because the whole system is at fault. the justice should start from the very top not very bottom.


  • KnoWht!
    Sep 14, 2012 - 7:52AM

    Its Prime Time: We must start looking safety measure in our own working facility before it’s too late. It won’t harm an employee to ask the Safety Team some question to Wake Them Up about such questioning in case it happens. A Review of Safety Measures should be included in weekly office meetings. The safety team should be present in meeting to answer all concerns and questions on a projector screens to explain their activity if possible.


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