Six killed as dilapidated building collapses in Karachi

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: At least six people were killed and several others wounded when a three-story building collapsed in Liaquatabad neighborhood of the city here on Tuesday morning. The dead according to rescue sources also included a real father and son.

According to rescue officials and police a three-story old dilapidated building in Liaquatabad No 9 collapsed at around 2am, also injuring nine people including four women who were trapped under the rubble. The dead and wounded persons were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for treatment. The rescue recovered a man from the derbies almost after eight long hours. According to police the person saved by rescue official wasn’t a resident of the building.

According to area residents, the 60-80 yard building was in a derelict state and its third storey had been illegally built a few months earlier. Area residents said four families had been residing in the building, which had tea and paan shops on its ground floor. A large number of rescue workers, police officials and Rangers personnel took part in the rescue operation.

Deputy Commissioner Central Capt (retired) Fariduddin Mustafa said all machinery required for the rescue operation is present at the collapse site. He said it could take up to 24 hours to remove the debris after an incident of this nature. Mustafa confirmed that three bodies had been pulled out of the rubble, adding that rescue officials were avoiding use of heavy machinery keeping in view the possible presence of additional survivors in the debris.

The DC said the public lacked awareness regarding construction of multi-storey buildings on small areas and the Sindh Building Control Authority is responsible for keeping an eye on the issue. The collapsed building was not part of the list of Karachi’s 300 dilapidated buildings, Mustafa said.

Deputy Mayor Arshad Vohra said heavy machinery was not being employed due to the risk of further damage and casualties. People continue to live in dangerous buildings across the city, despite notices being issued by the authorities concerned. In June, Sindh Building Control Authority issued eviction notices to residents of 354 unsafe buildings following the first monsoon spell in the city. The enlisted buildings were declared unsuitable for use even before rain had hit the city, but hundreds of people continue to use them. In February, two people were killed and five others were injured after a two-storey building in Neelam Colony collapsed.

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