Fire doused after four hours
Three labourers were killed after a fire erupted in a factory in Karachi's Orangi Town early Friday morning.
The factory, which produces henna, is located in Orangi Town No 4.
The labourers died of suffocation while they were sleeping at the factory after completing their hours. The deceased have been identified as Akram, Shahid and Suleman.
The fire, which occurred because of a short-circuit, was doused after four hours.
An eyewitness said that the fire brigade reached the area after a delay of an hour. The lives could've been saved had the fire truck arrived earlier, the witness added.
An area resident said that the fire station in Orangi has been closed for a while now.
Karachi has only 14 fire engines while 30 trucks haven’t been working because of technical issues, the chief fire officer told the Sindh High Court on November 25.
Four trucks should be park at every station but the city doesn’t have enough engines, he said, adding there aren’t any emergency exits in many buildings. There are 22 fire control rooms in the city.
There have been about 52 fires in shopping malls and supermarkets in Karachi in the last four years, reported SAMAA Digital on November 17.
Dr Syed Shahid Ali, who has retired from the department of Geography at the University of Karachi, brought together data on Karachi’s fire-fighting capabilities in 2015.
According to his tabulations, in Pakistan, fires kill 16,500 people and leave 164,000 injured or disabled every year. The losses and insurance claims run up to Rs400 billion. His paper goes into great detail on Karachi, which had, at the time of the paper’s publication, 22 fire stations.
“One thing that I recommend is that a fire station be linked to our police stations,” said Dr Ali. “We have about 108 police stations in Karachi. You can associate the two.”
He found that the number of calls to fire stations has gone up in Karachi. From 2000 to 2013 more than 49,500 calls were received out of which about 96% were for fires. The good news is that fire stations are located well, with an immediate response area in a 2km radius from each one.