Wednesday October 20, 2021

Police given five more days to complete Mehran Town factory fire probe

September 19, 2021

A judicial magistrate on Saturday gave police five more days to complete the probe of the Mehran Town factory fire incident and submit the charge sheet in the court.

Sixteen workers were killed in a blaze at BM Luggage Industry in Mehran Town in District Korangi on August 27. According to the FIR, the fire erupted due to a short-circuit and workers could not escape because no emergency exits were available there.

At the outset of the hearing, the investigation officer of the case, Sub-Inspector Izat Khan, produced two suspects, Zafar and Rehan, in the court. He said the suspects were supervisors at the factory and had gone into hiding after the incident.

The IO requested the court to send the suspect to jail in judicial custody and grant him more time to complete the probe and file the final investigation report. The judge approved the request and adjourned the hearing till September 23.

Six people, including building owner Faisal Tariq, his tenant and factory owner Hassan Metha, manager Imran Zaidi, gatekeeper Syed Zarin and the abovementioned suspects, were booked by the police in the case. All of them have been arrested and sent to jail in judicial custody.

At a previous hearing, the IO had submitted an interim charge sheet in the case stating that the probe was still underway because he awaited the results of a chemical analysis of the samples collected from the scene as well as a response from the civic authorities.

In the report, he said that on the directives of the district and sessions judge East, he had issued summons to the officials at the K-Electric, Sindh Building Control Authority, Civil Defence, Karachi Development Authority, Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Anti-Encroachment Cell, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Sui Southern Gas Company and Fire Brigade.

He added that since the factory was running illegally in a residential area, he had asked the relevant departments to submit their responses on the action they took against the owners of the factory. He said that the Fire Brigade department was particularly asked to submit their response time to the blaze and the outcomes of their finding about the cause of the fire.

The IO said that however none of the officials from the abovementioned departments replied to his letters until the filing of the interim charge sheet.