close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 
September 21, 2017

One dead, another injured in fire at PECHS cosmetics factory

Karachi

 
September 21, 2017

A man was killed and another injured on Wednesday when a fire broke out inside a cosmetics factory in Block-VI of PECHS following an explosion in the unit’s chemical storage.

“Initially, two fire trucks were despatched to extinguish the fire, but five more had to be sent in due to the intensity of the blaze,” said Chief Fire Officer Tehseen Siddiqui, adding that the fire had erupted at around 9am and could not be doused before 2:50pm.

Tipu Sultan SHO Shahzada Saleem said the cosmetic factory was situated on the backside of a hotel and right next to a private school, adding that the explosion shattered the windows of the nearby buildings and collapsed the boundary walls of the factory and the school.

A heavy contingent of police and Rangers officials cordoned off the site. Later, after the fire brigade put off the blaze, a team of the Bomb Disposal Squad gathered evidence from the manufacturing unit.

Head Constable Asif said an employee assigned to the factory’s warehouse, 35-year-old Salman Solangi, was trapped in the fire and died of burn injuries, adding that the gatekeeper identified as Hameed was injured.

The policeman said the injured gatekeeper was being treated at the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi’s Burns Centre, where the doctors had stated his condition to be out of danger.

‘Criminal negligence’

A senior police officer asserted that the incident was a case of criminal negligence on the part of the Sindh government because the cosmetics factory was manufacturing its goods in a residential locality.

The police department has taken up the matter with the provincial administration to identify and hold responsible the relevant officials for allowing the factory to operate in a residential area, added the officer.  

Accident or foul play?

Karachi police chief  Mushtaq Mahar said the explosion seemed accidental and the police did not suspect any terrorist activity in the incident at present. Mahar said the police had collected evidence from the site of the incident and forwarded them to the forensic division to ascertain whether the explosion was accidental or there was foul play.  

CTD rules out terrorism

Following the explosion at the cosmetics factory, a team of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had also arrived on the scene to make their investigations. Raja Umer Khattab, chief of the CTD’s Transnational Terrorists Intelligence Group, said counterterrorism officials had ruled out the possibility of terrorists’ involvement in the explosion.