Today, on Monday, a pre-dawn fire at a four-star private hotel killed 11 people and injured 75 others in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. This was the forth fire to hit the city in the last two weeks.
The fire took place in the kitchen located at the ground floor of the Regent Plaza hotel at the city’s Shahrah-i- Faisal and spread across the six-floor building, trapping nearly 100 hotel guests in their rooms.
Four women were included in the dead and the injured included some foreigners. Three of the doctors identifies as, Dr. Mohan Laal, Dr. Shair Khawaja, DR. Raheem Solangi also perished as a result of fire.
The dead bodies were shifted to Jinnah Hospital.
Pakistan middle order batsman Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Amin were among the injured. The cricketers are part of UBL team. They were staying at Regent Plaza hotel to take part in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. The UBL team will not play its match scheduled for today.
Some people were injured after jumping from windows to escape the blaze. Under-19 player Yaseen Murtaza got a fracture in his leg after he jumped from the floor to save his life. He is now recovering in the hospital. Karamat Ali also faced injuries in a bid to get out of hotel.
Most of the victims had suffered from smoke inhalation or suffocated. About 100 people were reported to be stranded at the hotel and were taken out by rescue workers using a crane.
Three fire tenders of the fire brigade reached the site and started an operation to rescue the guests. Firefighters were able to douse the fire after four hours.
The affected people were brought to the emergency department of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. They have said that at least 30 people were in critical condition after suffering suffocation due to the smoke and were receiving medical attention.
Waseem Akhtar, Mayor of Karachi visited the site of the accident and while talking to media, he said the fire has been contained but the cause of the fire is yet unknown. He added that rescue work was hampered due to absence of an emergency exit and spread of heavy smoke.
The rescue operation is still underway and the top floor of the hotel was being searched. Some people are still reportedly trapped inside the hotel.
Building fires in Pakistan are often caused by faulty wiring or electrical short-circuits.