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September 2, 2017

Shoe factory destroyed by Category 3 blaze


September 2, 2017

A three-storey factory building in the SITE area was razed to the ground as the structure was torn through by a Category 3 blaze that firefighters managed to put out after an exhaustive 17-hour operation. 

Three firefighters were hurt in the operation with two sustaining injuries in the building collapse and the third suffering burns. 

According to Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s chief fire officer (CFO), Tehseen Siddiqui, the fire at the factory broke out at around 7:45pm on Thursday.

As per unsubstantiated reports, the shoe manufacturing unit was deliberately set ablaze by workers over non-payment of salary before Eidul Azha.

Siddiqui, while speaking to The News, said that initially two fire tenders of the KMC were rushed to the site, however, more had to be called in as the blaze gained intensity and was declared a Category 3 fire.

He said the blaze was extinguished after 17 hours of hectic efforts and the factory was undergoing a cooling process.

An officer at the fire station, Muhammad Shareef, said that including three fire tenders of the Pakistan Navy and one of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), at least 12 fire trucks and two water bowzers took part in the fire fighting operation.

“There is no chance of any loss of life and property anymore, but five to six fire trucks are still stationed near the site in case the fire erupted again,” the SITE FSO added. He further informed The News that the fire brigade’s staffs had to wait for shovels and excavators to remove the factory’s debris and wind up the fire fighting operation.

KMC Municipal Services Director Nauman Ahmed was, however, unreachable when contacted to get his comments over the delay in provision of the equipment.


Set ablaze?

Tehseen Siddiqui who initially informed the media that the factory was put on fire by its workers over a dispute on transfer of salary on Eidul Azha, told this scribe that he did not issue any such statement.

On being requested to recall his statement given to Geo TV a few hours after the fire erupted, Siddiqui advised contacting the factory’s owner to get the complete story.

SITE-A police station’s SHO, Aamir Memon, observed the shoe-making unit was being run by its owner from Thailand.

He said the factory’s owner controlled the affairs of the manufacturing unit from Thailand, and had not designated anyone to look after the factory in his absence.

SHO Memon added that some workers of the factory were sitting in the police station to have their statements recorded and cases registered.

SP SITE Asif Ahmed Bughio told The News that the police was trying to retrieve the CCTV footage of the factory to ascertain whether the fire was an accident or a deliberate attempt. He said the police would take those responsible for the incident to task once the investigation is over.