Karachi superstore inferno leaves one dead

Web Desk
A view of the smoke rising after a fire broke out at a superstore store in Karachi, on June 1, 2022. — Online
A view of the smoke rising after a fire broke out at a superstore store in Karachi, on June 1, 2022. — Online

  • Fire breaks out in warehouse of superstore at 11am.
  • Superstore is situated on Jail Chowrangi, a busy street.
  • Fire is yet to be extinguished despite passage of hours.

KARACHI: A huge fire that broke out in a supermarket located at Jail Chowrangi on Wednesday afternoon has been ablaze and could not be completely extinguished even after 24 hours, Geo News reported.

According to senior fire officer Arif Mansoori, there are flames in areas of the building and that smoke makes it impossible to enter buildings. However, 80 percent of the fire has been extinguished.

The fire broke out at 11am in the warehouse of the superstore situated on Jail Chowrangi — a very busy street — officials said. The superstore is situated in a multi-storey building and sees a lot of footfall every day. Thick smoke emanating from the fire engulfed the area, causing breathing problems for the people nearby.

As the fire broke out, a person who was rescued and shifted to a nearby hospital lost his life. Meanwhile, four people, including two firefighters, passed out.

However, despite continuous efforts and more than 18 fire brigades present at the site, the fire has not been doused.

According to fire brigade officials’ efforts are underway to stop the fire from spreading meanwhile, the process of controlling the fire will begin later.

Commenting on the reasons, they said that the firefighters are facing difficulty in extinguishing fire due to the high intensity of the smoke and lack of ventilation.

It is worth mentioning that along with fire brigades, fire tenders of the Pakistan Navy are also trying to control the fire.

Meanwhile, an emergency has been declared on water board hydrants to ensure water supply.

Eyewitnesses say that the superstore administration did not try to put out the fire through their own means, instead, they opted to exit the store and stand outside.

Fire officials also said that had the administration kept fire extinguishing equipment in-store, then the fire could have been controlled at an earlier stage.

Police officials said that the rescue workers have managed to evacuate all occupants of the residential building. Moreover, buildings around the supermarket building were also vacated.

Assistant commissioner Asma Batool said that the affected building has been declared at risk.

She said that attempts are being made to prevent any loss of life.

She stated that a request has been made for the nearby houses to be evacuated and residents are instructed to remove only necessities from their homes.

"Due to the amount of smoke in the structure, it is difficult to enter. Additionally, walls have been demolished to gain access to the impacted area,Once the fire is fully accessible, it will be contained," she stated.

It is currently unknown how long it will take to extinguish the fire.

The building's residents have filed a petition against the supermarket.

Orders to cordon off 

In an administrative order from Deputy Commissioner East to SSP East, SBCA declares the affected building to be dangerous.

The order stated:

"the district administration and District Police are directed to cordon off the entire area to prevent the building from hurdles in fire foghting process as well as safety of general public."

It further stated that "no one except personnel/fire fighters be allowed to enter till clearance by relevant authorities/till further order