KARACHI: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf flew over the burnt Baldia Town factory, terming Pakistan's largest industrial accident a national tragedy.
Visiting the site in a helicopter, almost four days after the incident, Ashraf did the customary, an announcement of compensation for the victims' heirs.
The prime minister then presided over a meeting at the Governor House, which was attended by police officials, commissioners, deputy commissioners and cabinet members of Sindh government. The meeting briefed the prime minister about the incident in which over 250 workers had lost their lives as well as on the damaged caused by the recent floods in the province.
According to a governor house spokesperson, the prime minister announced Rs0.4 million as compensation for families of the dead, and Rs0.1 million for the injured, in the fire and floods, after Dr Ebad requested the premier to announce compensation on behalf of the federal government.
Ashraf was also requested to provide the Sindh government with the latest DNA testing facility and better fire tenders.
The prime minister assured the Sindh government that two snorkels and 15 fire tenders would be given to deal with any fire related emergency in the city.
He also announced that he would visit the flood affected areas on Sunday to review the rescue and relief operations.
During the course of the day, the prime minister also paid a surprise visit at the burns centre of Civil Hospital to inquire after the health of injured factory workers, directing the concerned authority to provide best available medical facilities to the injured for their early recovery.
Regarding the inquiry into the fire incident, Ashraf said that thorough investigations were being conducted into the fire incident to take preventive measures to avoid such incidents in the future and to inform the people about the facts. He directed Federal Government and all other concerned agencies to provide all the required assistance in this regard.
The PM added that President Asif Ali Zardari was taking personal interest in the rescue and relief operations relating to the factory fire and the flood, conveying the latter’s appeal to philanthropists to come forward and help the victims.
He also paid a visit to Federal Minister Dr Asim Hussain’s house and condoled him on his father’s death.