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Building collapses in Karachi’s Korangi, 4 killed

Reporting | , and - Posted: Sep 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Sep 11, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Seven people rescued

An illegally constructed residential building collapsed in Karachi’s Korangi on Thursday. Rescue workers retrieved the bodies of a 15-year-old boy and three other people from under the debris.

Seven people were injured in the collapse.

The ground plus four-storey building with a penthouse constructed on amenity plot ST-12, which was allotted a playground, is located in Allahwala Town, Sector 31-B. Seven injured people, including two children, were pulled out from beneath the rubble and shifted to a hospital.

Rescue teams of the Pakistan Army, Chhipa and Edhi are at the scene and moving people away. The police and Rangers cordoned off the area. They are lifting rubble to find people trapped underneath.

The building was built on a 240 square yard of china-cutting land carved out of an amenity plot of 22,596 square yards reserved for a playground, SBCA Information Director Ali Mehdi Kazmi told SAMAA Digital. There are other buildings built illegally on the plot.

He said it collapsed due to weak foundations and columns which were further weakened after the recent torrential rain in Karachi.

Kazmi confirmed that the collapsed building is not in the list of dangerous buildings, as it was constructed illegally without any approval from SBCA.

He said the building collapsed due to the use of sub-standard construction material. He held KDA responsible for the incident as the plot belongs to it and it is a responsibility of the area executive engineer to report any kind of illegal construction to the concerned department.

Seven families lived in the building that was constructed four years ago, according to Muhammad Hayat, a resident who left the building two days ago. Despite being asked to leave, three families were still living in the building at the time of the collapse. They were not living on rent like the others.

The other two illegal residential buildings on both sides of the collapsed building are being evacuated. The one on the left side is half destroyed while the one on the right has visible cracks.

Hayat says he left his house two days ago after cracks started appearing in the walls. We had approached the area’s estate agent through whom we took the house on rent, he said.

“We were paying Rs12,000 monthly rent and most of the families were living on rent,” he said.

Another resident Muhammad Zaman, who lived on the third floor, said he is living in the building on rent for the last one-and-half-year.

Zaman said it was constructed four years ago and the residents are living without power and water connections.

“We are using electricity through the kunda system and getting water through tankers,” he said.

“I was residing in the building on a rent basis and intended to purchase the flat in November for Rs1.6 million,” he said.

Heavy machinery has been called in to remove the rubble but the lane is narrow. Residents are helping in the search for survivors.

SBCA Director General Ashkar Dawar said the building was one of several illegally built on the 22,596 square-yard plot allocated for a playground.

We did not grant approval for its construction, he said. Dawar said a technical team is at the scene to investigate.

Four other building collapse incidents have been reported in 2020. The first incident was reported in Gulbahar, Rizvia Society of a five-storey building collapse on March 5 which left 11 dead.

The second incident was reported in Nayabad, Lyari in which a six-storey illegal residential building collapsed on June 9 and killed six people. No causality was reported in the third incident when a building collapsed in Liaquatabad on July 8.

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