KARACHI: Five months after an inferno engulfed the garment factory in Baldia, the remains of 17 unidentified workers were buried in KMC Graveyard amid tears and hopes that such an incident won’t happen again.
A deadly fire swept through the factory in September last year, killing over 258 employees in one of the world’s deadliest industrial disasters. No one knows for sure how the fire started and why so many people were trapped inside.
On Sunday, hundreds of people, including the owners of Ali Enterprises, which ran the factory, attended the funeral at Akhbar Shaheed Ground in Baldia Town.
The mass burial took place with the permission of the victims’ families, in compliance with the orders of the Sindh High Court. All the bodies and remains were charred beyond recognition. Several attempts to match DNA samples of the victims with that of family members failed.
“The saddest part is all these bodies have remained unclaimed,” said Nasir Mansoor, a social activist who is working closely with the families.
“The DNA didn’t match and there are families who would never find the bodies of their loved ones.” Philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi attended the funeral prayers, but no senior political leader or businessmen came to the burial site, he said.
Four German social workers, who are trying to ensure that the families get maximum compensation, also attended the funeral.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2013.