KE, fire brigade booked for Karachi shopping mall fire

3 months ago 61
Firefighters douse the fire at a shopping mall in Karachi on November 25, 2023. — AFP Firefighters douse the fire at a shopping mall in Karachi on November 25, 2023. — AFP

A day after a huge fire engulfed a multi-storey shopping mall in Karachi, a case has been registered against Karachi Electric (KE), the fire brigade and other departments in the city's Sharea Faisal police station.

The case has been booked by the government with provisions of culpable homicide, negligence and damages for the lives lost in the tragic incident.

At least 11 people died in the blaze after the city's RJ shopping mall on Rashid Minhas Road caught fire on Saturday. Several of the injured were shifted to a nearby healthcare facility for treatment. Six of those injured remain in critical condition, officials said.

According to fire brigade officials, nearly 50 people were trapped inside as rescuers dowsed fire during an intense hours-long operation involving two snorkels, eight fire tenders and a bowser.

The first information report (FIR) mentioned that the fire in the building is suspected to have started due to a short circuit. It added that the building had no fire extinguishers and no emergency exits, while its map was also approved illegally.

"Bad materials were used in the construction of the building," the FIR stated.

It also mentioned the role of KE and fire brigade, which issued a no objection certificate (NOC) to the shopping mall despite use of defective material. It added that the company, government department and other institutions committed criminal negligence.

Meanwhile, the funeral prayers Shahzeb, one of the dead in the fatal fire incident, were offered in Karachi's Liaquatabad area.

Shahzeb, according to his uncle, was a software engineer and left for work at around 4am. His family later found out about his office catching fire.

The young Shahzeb was to be wedded next month, his uncle told Geo News. "We demand justice."