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Tragic Karachi mall fire takes 11 lives, 35 injured rushed to hospital as rescue operation continues

RJ Mall in Karachi caught fire in the afternoon hours on Saturday with at least 60 people in the six-story building. Rescue operations are ongoing at the Rashid Minhas Road's landmark building. 11 people have already lost their lives while 35 have been rushed to hospital.

Tragic Karachi mall fire takes 11 lives, 35 injured rushed to hospital as rescue operation continues avv
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First Published Nov 25, 2023, 5:45 PM IST

A Mall in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi was engulfed with fire as the tragic incident took the lives of 11 on Saturday. The six-story building was packed with people due to the weekend when the fire broke out. Around 60 people were inside the mall as the tragic event unfolded in the afternoon. Karachi’s rescue operations team is still trying to battle the fire.

The RJ Mall located in Karachi’s Rashid Minhas Road caught fire due to a generator short circuit that occurred on the fourth floor in a food court. The Karachi health ministry has confirmed that 11 people were found dead while the rescue teams have rescued 40 people out of which 35 have been rushed to a nearby hospital. Nine people are in serious condition due to severe burns.

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Shahid Hussain, a spokesman for the Chippa welfare organization said, “Our rescue workers have taken 11 dead bodies to hospitals so far. At least 40 people have been rescued.” The Interim government in Islamabad is closely watching the developments and has expressed grief over the tragic incident.

Mall Fires in Pakistan are not new, especially in Karachi. If anything, Pakistan’s financial capital has seen more residential, commercial, and industrial buildings entangled in such accidents. Karachi’s planners and engineers have blamed regulatory bodies like the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) who have overlooked the constant flouting of norms and regulations by corrupt builders.

The corrupt nexus between the regulatory bodies and builders has left the people at a security risk. At least 250 laborers died from severe burns and suffocation at a garment factory in Baldia Town when a similar fire incident broke out in 2012. Due to the absence of fire escape, 250 lives were lost. The negligence created a huge uproar among the Baldia Town people but nothing much has happened policy wise since.

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