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May 23, 2020

Tough task for rescuers

Top Story

May 23, 2020

KARACHI: The first Edhi Ambulance reached the crash site within 10 minutes of the incident. The street was so narrow that only one car at a time could pass through it, that too without hitting the fences and parked cars. And in that street, the debris of the plane and rubble of the damaged houses was scattered everywhere.

The head of Edhi Foundation, Faisal Edhi, described the scene while talking to The News. He said that rescue workers with the help of fire brigade, police and Rangers looked for people who could immediately be rescued from the debris.

Edhi said that since the street was littered with burning pieces of aircraft, most of the rescue work happened from the rooftops of the adjacent houses. He said that volunteers would take out an injured or a dead from the debris or the houses and would shift them down the ambulances moving fromone rooftop to another.

He said that many of the rescue workers sustained burn wounds while rescuing people because the fire was everywhere in the street. He added that when they reached the site, the Civil Aviation Authority’s fire brigades were already there trying to put out the fire.

Innayatullah of the Karachi Municipal Corporation’s fire brigade department said that the fire was declared third degree at the first instance because it involved a plane. He added that it took at least four to five hours for the firefighters to at least control the fire.

He added that around three dozen fire brigades, including 12 from KMC, five from Karachi Port Trust, two from Port Qasim Authority and one from the Pakistan Steel Mills were there. Besides them, 12 water tankers of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board were also involved in supplying water. He said that it may take 24 hours or more to cool down the debris because it was hot and the fire was still emitting from some parts of it.

Hamza Mubin Hasan of the Sindh Boys Scouts Association said that two major challenges were before the rescue workers: first the narrow streets littered with the hot debris and the second the piling smoke from it. He said that it was hard to breathe and see ahead because of the smoke and they had to move carefully not to avoid burn injuries.