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Thursday December 02, 2021

Karachi buildings collapse: Seven more bodies recovered, death toll climbs to 27

March 09, 2020

KARACHI: Rescuers on Sunday recovered seven more bodies from the debris of the multiple buildings collapse incident in Karachi's Rizvia locality, bringing the death toll to 27. Rescuers as well as personnel from the military, paramilitary force and police were busy in conducting search and rescue operation on the third consecutive day and retrieved seven more bodies, including the bodies of a mother and a son and two sisters.

According to the rescuers and police, the bodies were transported to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico legal formalities and later handed over to the heirs.

“Seven more bodies were recovered on Sunday – three were recovered on the night between Saturday and Sunday while four more were recovered on Sunday afternoon, bringing the death toll of the victims to 27,” says SHO Wilayat Ali Shah while talking to The News. “The victims included a mother and a son and two sisters.”

According to rescuers and police, the bodies of a 55-year-old woman identified as Zubaida, wife of Muhammad Ali, her son Sohail, 24, and another man identified as Sufiyan Shaikh, 24, were found during the search and rescue operation on the night between Saturday and Sunday while the bodies of 35-year-old Kauser Jahan, her sister Ishrat Bibi and two more women identified as Dr Ghazala and Khairun Nisa were found on Sunday afternoon.

On the other hand, the bodies of Muhammad Ali and his family members, including his wife Zubaida, three daughters, Iqra, Sumaira and Kainat while two sons, Sohail and Tariq Ali, were sent to their hometown – Shikarpur after 'Ghusal and kafan’ in Karachi.

The funeral prayers of another victim, Amir Nawab, whose body was recovered on Saturday, were offered at the Khajji Ground and later he was laid to rest in a local graveyard. Meanwhile, the body of Sufiyan Shaikh recovered on Sunday was sent to Hyderabad for burial process.

Though a case has been registered against the building owner, no arrest had been made so far. The operation continued on the third consecutive day as volunteers and rescuers from different organisations remained busy in the search and rescue operation.

It was also learnt that some people are still claiming that their loved ones remained missing. But the rescue operation has reportedly been halted as rescuers believe that no more body is still under the debris while authorities have formed an area committee to oversee valuables and goods being recovered from the debris.

The builder had allegedly carried out major excavation work at the foundation and tried to erect additional pillars to support the existing pillars. He did it to strengthen the building structure and prevent it from collapsing.

On March 5, 2020, the residential building had fallen on two adjacent structures, bringing them to the ground as well. Residents of the area said that the building was built two years ago and at least 10 families were living in it.

After the incident, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah sought a detailed report from the officials concerned. Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani said that an inquiry had been launched to ascertain the exact cause of the incident. He said it would be investigated whether or not the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) had approved the building's design and criminal charges would be filed against those involved in the case.

Newly-appointed SBCA Director-General Dr Nasimul Ghani Sahito has constituted a three-member committee to investigate the collapse. The committee will be chaired by SBCA Director Structure Benish Shabbir and its members are Baldia Town Director Nadeem Ahmed and NED University Head of Architectural and Planning Department Noman Ahmed. They have to submit a the report by March 12.