A three-member inquiry committee has been formed to investigate the recent fire incident in a commercial building in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood, which resulted in the deaths of two men as they jumped off the multi-storey building in a bid to save themselves.
The fire had broken out at the Noor Trade Centre on University Road on Thursday. The committee is headed by Zone East police chief DIG Amir Farooqui and its other members include District East SSP Ghulam Azfar Mahesar and District East Investigations SP Dr Farooq. The body can also seek assistance from any other officer of the Karachi police.
The committee has been formed on the directives of the additional IG Karachi to ascertain the facts of the fire. It has also been tasked with reviewing the fire-related security measures taken by the building owners such as emergency exits, fire extinguishing apparatus and automatic water system.
The body will also ascertain when the building was inspected the last time and how much time the fire tenders took to reach the building after they received the information. The committee will submit a report within a week.
On Saturday, an application was filed with the Sindh High Court (SHC) seeking the implementation of the fire safety provisions of the Building Code of Pakistan across the province in order to minimise casualties in the incidents of fire.
The applicant, Nadeem A Sheikh, submitted that two people had died and more than 13 others had been injured in the fire at the multi-storey building in Gulshan-e-Iqbal due to inadequate fire safety arrangements.
The blaze had erupted within the limits of the Aziz Bhatti police station. Besides the fire brigade, Pakistan Navy helicopters also participated in the rescue operation to airlift the trapped people to safety; however, before the helicopters could reach, two of the trapped people had jumped off the building to death in a bid to save themselves from the flames.
Witnesses said the fire broke out at around 12pm noon at the seventh floor of the building which rapidly spread to other floors. The fire caused panic among the people present in the building, many of whom found no way to escape.
Scores of people in the building, however, managed to reach the roof from where they started shouting and screaming for help. They were rescued after fire tenders of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation doused the blaze.