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KARACHI: As many as 17 factory workers brunt to death and a rescue volunteer sustained injuries after a massive fire erupted inside a ‘highly flammable’ chemical factory in Mehran Town, in the jurisdictions of Korangi Industrial Area (KIA) Police Station, here on Friday, the police and rescue officials said. As per the fire brigade officials, the exit door to the roof was locked that hindered rescue operations and the building had no adequate fire safety measures. The blaze erupted on the first floor of the three-storey building.

Following the incident police, paramilitary rangers and fire-brigade teams reached the site and began rescue operations.

Bodies of the most of ill-fated victims were shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for medico-legal formalities. A rescue volunteer, identified as Saddam, 30, also sustained injuries while trying to extinguish the fire.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Governor Imran Ismail took notice of the incident. Murad has directed the Karachi commissioner and the labour department to furnish a report. “How did the incident occur and what safety precautions were being taken,” he questioned.

He also instructed officials to provide the best possible medical treatment to the injured and support to the families of the deceased.

At least 17 killed in Karachi chemical factory blaze

Speaking to the media, Karachi Administrator and Sindh government spokesman Murtaza Wahab said that the fire department was alerted of the blaze at 10:09am and departed a minute later. Some 21 workers were present inside the building and its compound when the fire broke out.

While briefing to Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Deputy Commissioner Korangi said that 17 bodies have been recovered from the factory. The fire was brought under control, cooling process was going on.

The disparate families of the labourers also gathered outside the factory with Rangers personnel assisting the hindered relief efforts. The fire was extinguished after hours long hectic efforts.

Karachi Water and Sewage board imposed emergency at the Landhi and Sherpao hydrants and also dispatched a number of water tankers to the site.

The area residents complained that fire tenders arrived at the site two hours after the blaze erupted.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, however the authorities are investigating to ascertain the fact.

Karachiites expressed severe concerns over the poor safety standards and frequent fire incidents in factories.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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