Wed, September 12, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific

112 killed in garments factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan

2012-09-12 06:44:39 GMT2012-09-12 14:44:39(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of a garments factory fire that broke out in Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi on Tuesday evening has risen to 112, reported local media quoting hospital sources on Wednesday morning.

Local Urgu TV channel Geo said by quoting hospital sources that out of the 112 bodies recovered from the fire, 71 were shifted to Civil Hospital, 36 to Jinnah Hospital and five to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

So far there is no official confirmation about the figures yet.

The fire erupted at about 6:00 p.m. local time at a four- storeyed garments factory building in the Baldia Town area in the western part of Karachi. Up till now, the fire fighters have failed to bring the fire under complete control as they lack water and equipment, according to local media reports.

Fire fighters and rescue workers believe that there are still some bodies trapped inside the badly burned building.

Survivors said there were hundreds of workers waiting to collect their salary when the fire broke out. Many rushed out, but there were some 150 people trapped inside, they said.

The fire first broke out from the basement of the building and quickly engulfed the entire factory.

There were an unknown number of women working in the stitching section of the factory, said factory workers.

At least 15 women were reportedly killed in the accident.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, said police. But some local media said that the fire could be caused by short circuit triggered by heavy rains that had battered the city for the last couple of days.

Pakistani President Zardari expressed deep sorrow over the huge loss of the lives in the fire in a statement issued Wednesday morning.

Governor of Sindh Province with Karachi as its capital has announced a one-day mourning for the fire victims on Wednesday.

Industrial Minister of Sindh Province has ordered to sell the land of the factory and the money would be given to the people affected.

Each of the killed and injured in the fire incident will get a compensation of 500,000 rupees (about 5,300 U.S. dollars) and 200, 000 rupees respectively, announced the minister.

Police department of the city has ordered to put the name of the factory's owner on the Exit-Control List, which will prevent him from fleeing the country, and a manhunt search for the owner is underway.


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