PAKISTAN NEWS: 15 people were killed when a fire broke out in a Karachi chemical plant

KARACHI: At least 15 people were killed in a fire at a chemical plant in Mehran Town on Friday, rescue officials said, according to News.

The bodies of 15 workers have been retrieved inside the building so far and firefighters are carrying out rescue operations. Many people are still trapped inside the factory.

The bodies were taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC). According to hospital officials, seven bodies have been identified so far, including Salman, Farman, Hassan, Ali, and Farhan.

Managers added that Farhan, Ali, Farman, and Hassan belong to the same family.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah also noted the incident and instructed the Karachi Commissioner and the Department of Labor to prepare a full report.

According to firefighters, a fire broke out in a chemical tank and spread to other parts of the factory, but firefighters arrived late at 10 am to put out the blaze.

Rescuers said they had asked for heavy equipment to demolish the factory walls. They are reportedly experiencing difficulties in the rescue operation due to heavy smoke.

Two firefighters were also injured when they tried to put out the blaze, Geo News reported

Reviewing the fire, Chief Fire Officer Muenen Ahmed told Geo News that 13 fire and snorkels had been used to put out the blaze.

He said a rescue vehicle and a waterboard tank were also at the scene.

“There is only one way to enter the factory,” said a fire chief, explaining that the roof of the factory was also locked, making it difficult for workers to escape.

He said the search for the victims was ongoing.

The fire was under control and the cooling process was underway, he said.

Eyewitnesses Accounts

According to eyewitnesses and workers, at the time of the fire, there were 25 workers inside the factory.

“When we arrived in the morning with four brothers, all four of them died during the incident,” he said.

Speaking to Geo News, the employee said he had no idea how the fire broke out at the factory. “We were not cooking and we did not see a short cycle,” he said, adding that some of the windows were still open and some fire had entered.

Officials responded

Deputy Commissioner Korangi Samiullah Odho arrived at the scene five hours later. Odho said after receiving the information he got there.

Highlighting the safety of the factory workers, the deputy commissioner said, “I don’t know how many people died. I didn’t even know the factory was in a residential building.”

However, he assured her that he would investigate why the firefighters did not get there in time.

Responding to widespread rumors about the delay in the rescue operation, Chief Karachi Murtaza Wahab denied all allegations.

He said: “It is a lie that the fire trucks arrived late. The fire broke out at 10:09 am and the vehicles left at 10:10 am.”

“And after I got there, help was delivered,” added Wahab.

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