The search and rescue operation launched after the Sundar factory collapse ended on Tuesday.
As many as 103 injured persons were pulled out from under the rubble in the joint operation by Rescue 1122, the army, police and civil administration. Forty-five bodies were also recovered during the operation.
The decision to end the operation was taken after rescue teams agreed there were no signs that somebody was still trapped underneath the rubble. Sniffer dogs, high resolution cameras and trained personnel were used in the operation.
DCO Capt (r) Muhammad Usman said that 17,000 tonnes of debris had been moved using heavy machinery. He said stern action would be taken against those found responsible for the tragedy. Usman said that 37 people injured in the incident were under treatment at various hospitals.
“The district administration, in collaboration with Rescue 1122, the Pakistan Army Headquarters 114 Brigade, Headquarters Engineering 4th Corps, 29 Punjab, Army Rescue Team, USAR, 26 Engineering Battalion, Pakistan Army Medical Corps, Punjab Police, the Capital Development Authority, Bahria Town and other civil agencies, completed the rescue operation on Tuesday,” he said.
He said that General Headquarters (GHQ) Engineering’s Urban Search and Rescue Wing had sent a team from Rawalpindi on a special aircraft to take part in the rescue operation. “They helped civil agencies with their expertise and made the rescue operation easy. A total of 2,000 workers of various departments took part in the rescue operation,” he said.
A Rescue 1122 official said that 720 of their officers from 15 districts and 60 emergency vehicles were utilised.
Operations DIG Haider Ashraf said that more than 500 police officials had been deployed till the end of the operation.
He said that a missing persons desk had been set up next to the site to help the affected families. “Police officers also set up help desks at various hospitals where the injured were taken to guide people and help them find their relatives,” he said.
He said unidentified bodies would be handed over to families based on results of examination of DNA samples.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2015.