Baldia factory fire: With only 4 days to go, Adil’s wedding plans cut short

Published: October 2, 2012
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This photo, taken on September 11, shows a man looking into the stitching room on the third floor of the factory. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/FILE

This photo, taken on September 11, shows a man looking into the stitching room on the third floor of the factory. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/FILE

KARACHI: On the evening of September 11, Mohammad Adil was very excited. At his workplace, he waited anxiously for his salary to be handed out so that he could rush off to Saddar. At a men’s boutique there, an off-white embroidered sherwani waited for him. In four days, Adil was to wear the sherwani on his wedding day.

But the 22-year-old, who wanted everything to be just right at the reception, never got to see his new clothes or get his salary. For that evening while he stood waiting at Ali Enterprises, a fire broke out at the ill-fated garment factory, burning him and his younger brother Asif alive. They were among the 259 people who lost their lives in the Baldia factory blaze.

Only a week ago, Adil’s humble house in Orangi Town No 7 echoed with wedding songs. It is now home to grief-stricken people. Shell-shocked, his mother sits in a corner staring into space. Though a week has passed since her two sons perished in the fire, she refuses to budge from that end.

Adil’s room which was decorated with buntings and streamers for his big day remains as it is. “We haven’t removed anything from here,” said Adil’s elder brother Raheel crying. “We can’t believe he is gone.”

Two months ago, Adil had married a colleague from the factory in court against the family’s wishes. But after much pleading, the family gave in to his wishes and decided to hold a joint valima reception for Adil and his older brother on September 15. Like Adil and Asif, Raheel also worked at the factory but was on leave for his wedding. The three brothers worked as machine operators on the third floor of the factory, where the highest number of deaths were reported.

The family came to know about the factory fire through a phone call. “We were packing clothes and singing songs at that time,” said their sister Asma. “We left everything in the middle when our relatives called and rushed to the factory. We also heard people screaming for help.”

The charred remains of Adil and Asif were found two days later from Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, identified by their blackened mobile phones.

With the family devastated by the two deaths, Adil’s widow remains at her house. His father has quit driving his rickshaw and Raheel’s wedding was put on hold.

The family says that the only thing that might give it some solace is the punishment of the people responsible for the tragedy.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Oct 2, 2012 - 6:50PM

    Rest in Peace Adil and Asif, my heart goes out to your family and my condolences to your wife and loved ones. May God rest your souls in peace.

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  • editor
    Oct 2, 2012 - 8:51PM

    Too many adjectives – fine line between evoking emotion and sensationalization of a tragedy.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Oct 3, 2012 - 7:44AM

    In China, one baby milk powder factory owner given death sentence, as from his factory milk, two children died after drinking that milk.

    No matter, how he is responsible,given death sentence, as he is the owner of Factory.

    Where is the owner of this ill fated factory, where hundred of people burn alive.

    Why no news, what happend with owner, they arrested or not?

    This is a crime, I support writer ,she still writting about this incident, as always people,Govt forget every incident like this very quickly, and people will be getting lost their lives like this.

    Is this the future of Pakistani people?

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