Disasters & Accidents

Death toll rises to 22 in Pakistan building collapse

Islamabad, Jun 10 (efe-epa).- The death toll from a building collapse in southern Pakistan rose to 22 on Wednesday, while six people have been reported injured even as rescue teams raced against the clock to look for survivors three days after the accident.

The four-decade old building, which housed 40 apartments in its five floors, had collapsed on Sunday night in the Lyari neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan’s main financial hub and capital of the southern Sindh province.

“A total 22 bodies and 6 injured have been recovered from debris,” Raheel Ahmed, the police spokesperson for the area, told EFE.

Ahmed said that some of the corpses had been brought out on Wednesday.

Arshad Ali, spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation – one of the largest humanitarian nonprofits in the country – told EFE that search was on for more people who could be trapped under the structure.

“We are not sure, but 4 to 5 people are still feared to be under the debris,” he said

The minister of information for the Sindh province, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, said in a televised press conference on Tuesday that authorities were investigating the incident as the building had already been declared dangerous and notices had been issued for vacating it.

Shah held a meeting with Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani and other city officials to discuss action on dangerous commercial and residential buildings and identifying areas where illegal construction was taking place.

Building collapses are relatively common in Pakistan, mainly due to the poor state of the structures, explosions in gas cylinders or installations and sometimes also due to heavy rains.

In March, 24 people were killed due to the collapse of another building in Karachi, where authorities have declared around 150 structures, including both housing and commercial premises, as unsafe.

In 2012, at least 45 people were killed and 103 injured in the eastern city of Lahore, after the collapse of an industrial plant. EFE-EPA


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