Building collapse wreaks havoc in Karachi

KARACHI: At least seven people, including three women, three minor girls and a boy, were killed and 15 others injured when a five-storey building collapsed in Moosa Lane within the limits of Baghdadi police station, Lyari, here on Thursday. According to police and eyewitnesses, at around 11:00am the five-storey building ‘Qasr-e-Roqayya’ fell down along Shah Abdul Latif Bhattai road. On information, rescue teams, officials of the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) and others, rushed to the scene and recovered the bodies of seven persons. The deceased were identified as Hawwa Bibi, Khadija, Rozina, Arshia, Imran and Bilal while identity of other deceased girl could not be ascertained till filing of this report.

Rescuers said the victims Arshia and Bilal were juniors among five siblings namely Hammad, Komal and Kiran. They said that Abdul Ghaffar and Komal along with their five children were living at top floor of the building. KBCA officials said the building was 20-year-old and was in deteriorated condition. They said that it was included in decayed buildings list and added that the inhabitants were also suggested to evacuate it to avoid any untoward incident but they refused to do so.

SSP South Naeem Sheikh expressed fear of further casualties in the incident and said that more casualties could be reported as the debris of the building was not completely removed so far and the rescue work was in progress. SSP South further said that rescue teams along with army teams are busy in recovering the injured persons. SHO Baghdadi Jan Muhammad said that some 20 families were living in the building. He said that although the rescue operation was expedited, the teams were facing difficulties due to dense populated area.

When contacted, DC South Mustafa Jamal Qazi said the district government on the directives of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan had established a relief camp at Shah Latif Bhattai Hall to facilitate the traumatized persons of this incident. He said the Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Hussain Syed also visited the spot and assured the inhabitants of the area of utilising all resources for providing maximum relief to affected families.

Civil Hospital Karachi sources confirmed that all seven bodies and 15 injured persons were bought to the hospital. The deceased were identified as Arshia, 07, daughter of Abdul Ghaffar; Hawwa Bibi, 70, wife of Usman; Imran, 06, son of Usman; and Bilal, 19, son of Abdul Ghaffar, Khadija, Rozina. They said that all injured Alia, 35, wife of Riyaz; Kulsoom, 40, wife of Yousuf; Komal, 35, wife of Abdul Ghaffar; Rabia, 6, daughter of Abdul Ghaffar; Muskan, 07, daughter of Imran; Samina, 35, wife of Imran; Adeel, 19, son of Abdul Ghaffar; Imran, 35, son of Yousuf; Parveen, 48, wife of Abdul Ghafoor; and Bilquees, 34, wife of Abbas were in stable condition.

Meanwhile, army rescue team comprising some 50 personnel also reached the site of incident along with sniper dogs but the dogs were unable to point out the people stuck under debris. Rescuers also made the lighting arrangements to continue the rescue efforts while believed the people get stuck in debris will be brought out till morning because of the congested locations. The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), in late hours, also issued an initial report of the collapse of the building. The technical team of SBCA, after inspecting the site of building collapse, forwarded a preliminary report of the incident to SBCA director general.

The report said water was continuously seeping out at a plot No LY-10, 65, Moosa Lane, Lyari. The continuous seepage since many years had badly damaged the infrastructure of the building. The report said that the building inhabitants never took serious notice of the water leakage. The technical committee of the SBCA has evacuated four other buildings adjacent to the collapsed building and immediately issued the orders to destroy the building to prevent further loss of lives. It is pertinent to mention here that it is the second consecutive incident of building collapse in last year a building was collapsed in Kamil Street, Kharadar claimed seven lives. – Dailytimes