Rescue teams recovered the bodies of nine more picnickers who had drowned in Karachi’s Sea View beach, bringing the number of deaths to 35. The search and rescue operation for at least three more missing people will continue today (Saturday).
Police have arrested over 40 people from beaches in the metropolis for violating Section 144, which was imposed across the city on Thursday.
The rescue operation, which saw a brief hiatus on Thursday, was resumed on Friday morning by the Pakistan Navy who recovered nine more bodies.
“Pakistan Navy has recovered 32 bodies during the three-day search and rescue operation. The operation is still under way and the navy is continuously extending full support to the civil administration in order to recover the drowned individuals,” the Pakistan Navy spokesperson told The Express Tribune.
Scores of people were still at Sea View who were looking for their missing relatives, however, civil authorities have a record of only three more persons whose whereabouts are unknown. “The families of three more people have just contacted us,” said Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui. “We are trying our level best to search and recover these three bodies and of course, we will request the navy to continue the search and rescue operation on Saturday if these three missing people are not recovered.”
Appreciating the role of the Pakistan Navy, he said, “We salute them for conducting a successful operation.”
The responsibility of the tragic drowning has not been pinned yet. Sindh IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali has already formed an inquiry committee; however, the committee has not prepared its report as yet. “The investigation will not only be limited to the police but will also look into the role of Clifton Board Cantonment, Defence Housing Authority, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and the district management who are generating revenue from these beaches,” said a senior police officer who is a member of the probe committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2014.