Thursday Mar 29, 2018
SUKKUR: At least 13 people, including eight women and two minors, were killed after the roof of a warehouse collapsed Wednesday evening in Sukkur's Khajoor Mandi, hospital sources told Geo News. The death toll rose from 12 to 13 Wednesday night.
The deceased — who were daily wage workers working for an illegally-operating kiln to roast date palm — lost their lives due to a gas explosion, which had occurred as a result of a chemical used in the production process in the Rohri workshop — some 450 kilometres (280 miles) north of Karachi.
Over 13 injured workers, who were trapped under the debris, were also rescued, Rahim Bukhsh Meethlo, the Deputy Commissioner, said.
"The labourers were busy processing dates in the warehouse when the roof collapsed," Meethlo told AFP, adding that an inquiry was ordered to ascertain the cause of the incident.
The condition of two of the eight injured persons receiving medical treatment at Sukkur's Civil Hospital was critical, Owais Mushtaq, the Assistant Commissioner (AC) for Rohri, said.
"The warehouse's owner and business manager have fled but will soon be arrested," AC Mushtaq said, adding that a First Information Report (FIR) for the case will soon be registered.
The rescue operation, aided by armed forces personnel and Rangers, was completed later in the evening and the warehouse was completely sealed.
Soon after the incident was reported, Governor of Sindh Muhammad Zubair expressed regret at the loss of precious lives and instructed relevant authorities to provide the best-available medical aid to the wounded.
Roof and building collapses are common across Pakistan mainly because of poor safety standards in the South Asian country of 200 million.
At least 24 people died in 2014 when a mosque collapsed in the eastern city of Lahore, while more than 200 people lost their lives, mostly due to collapsed roofs, following torrential rain and flooding the same year.
In November 2015, some 45 workers were killed and more than 100 were pulled alive from the rubble after the four-story Rajput Polyester polythene bag factory came crashing down in Lahore.
COVER IMAGE: Pakistani residents gather as ambulances arrive at the site of a collapsed warehouse in Sindh's Rohri district, Pakistan, March 28, 2018. AFP/STR