Pakistan: 10 killed, 22 injured in fire at shopping mall in Karachi

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Karachi [Pakistan], November 25: Ten persons were killed and 22 others injured in a fire at RJ Mall on Rashid Minhas Road in Karachi, Dawn reported, citing statements from hospital and police officials.
Karachi Mayor Barrister Murtaza Wahab took to X to confirm the news, saying, “Can so far confirm 10 casualties and 22 persons have been injured.” He added that the fire had been extinguished, and the cooling process was in progress.
Police surgeon Summaiya Syed said that nine bodies had been brought to hospitals, with eight at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and one at Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK). Wahab mentioned that one more casualty was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. An 18-year-old is currently admitted at CHK, Dawn reported.
District East Deputy Commissioner (DC) Altaf Shaikh, overseeing the rescue operation, stated that 30 individuals, including the injured, had been rescued. He noted that the building had been cleared up to the fourth floor, with clearance of the fifth floor underway. The exact cause of the fire would be determined after a thorough investigation once the rescue operation was complete.
Sharea Faisal Station House Officer (SHO) Raja Tariq Mehmood described the affected building as a commercial high-rise housing shopping centers, call centers, and software houses.
According to a statement from the Fire and Rescue spokesperson, they were alerted to the incident at 6:30 am. Eight fire tenders, two snorkels, and two bowsers were dispatched.
Sindh Inspector General (IG) Riffat Mukhtar directed the senior superintendent of police in District East to take all necessary steps for the rescue operation and ordered the clearance of the road for seamless access for fire brigades.
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (rtd) Maqbool Baqar expressed grief over the loss of lives and promptly issued directives for immediate medical aid to the injured. He emphasized the government’s responsibility for “people’s lives and belongings.”
Mayor Wahab extended his condolences, stating that fire brigade officials had successfully rescued numerous people. He highlighted the absence of an emergency exit in the building and pledged a “complete investigation” into the matter.
Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori sought a report on the incident from the city commissioner.
City planners and engineers earlier in the week decried the lack of fire prevention and firefighting systems in approximately 90 per cent of structures in Karachi, labelling it “criminal negligence” on the part of regulatory bodies like the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and emphasising the risk posed to millions of lives in the metropolis.

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