Karachi building collapse toll rises to 22

Rescuers work at the site where a building collapsed in Karachi, Pakistan, on June 8, 2020. The death toll from the collapse of a five-storey residential building in Karachi has risen to 13 on Tuesday morning, police and rescue officials said.

Karachi, (Samajweekly) The death toll from a building collapse in Karachi rose to 22, while six people were reported injured even as rescue teams raced against the clock to look for survivors.

The four-decade old building, which housed 40 apartments in its five floors, had collapsed on Sunday night in the city’s Lyari neighbourhood.

“A total 22 bodies and six injured have been recovered from debris,” Raheel Ahmed, the police spokesperson for the area, told Efe news on Wednesday.

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

Arshad Ali, spokesperson of the Edhi Foundation – one of the largest humanitarian non-profits in the country, told Efe that search was on for more people who could be trapped under the debris.

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.

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.