At least 16 killed in Karachi chemical factory fire

AFP News Agency

27th Aug, 2021. 04:35 pm

At least 16 workers died and more were missing after a factory fire in Karachi on Friday, police said.

More than 25 labourers were inside the small factory in a residential area when the blaze broke out, causing it to fill with thick smoke.

“We have recovered 16 bodies so far,” senior police officer Shahjehan Khan told AFP.

“We are trying to recover more stranded people but I fear they might not make it out,” Khan said, adding the factory had no proper fire exits.

“The stairs leading to the roof were locked, otherwise the labourers could have survived by running to the rooftop,” Khan said.

Karachi city administrator Murtaza Wahab also said there was no safe exit for the workers.

Poor industrial laws and building codes in Pakistan mean factory blazes are frequent.

In 2012, at least 250 labourers for a garment factory died in Baldia Town in western Karachi when a fire engulfed the facility and there was no fire escape.

Commissioner Karachi Naveed Ahmed Sheikh visited the site and directed authorities to speed up the rescue operation.

Speaking to the media, Sheikh said that the fire was under control and said that those injured in the fire were being treated at the local hospitals.

Taking to Twitter, Leader of Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh condemned the incident and called for a thorough investigation into the incident.

 

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