During the past 15 days, Karachi has witnessed its second major fire incident, this time near the ‘Aisha Mansion’ close to Arshi Shopping Center, resulting in a tragic blaze that claimed four lives and left two individuals critically injured. The condition of one victim is reported to be particularly concerning. The ferocious fire, erupting on the ground floor of the shopping center, rapidly engulfed shops and ascended to residential flats.
The devastating incident led to the loss of millions of rupees worth of property, reduced to ashes by the intense flames. After several hours of relentless efforts, Fire Brigade vehicles managed to bring the fire under control. Authorities have highlighted the inherent risks associated with high-rise buildings, emphasizing that such structures are susceptible to accidents at any time.
Responding promptly to the incident, Sindh Chief Minister Makhdoom Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered an immediate investigation and established a three-member committee under the leadership of Karachi Commissioner. Additionally, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has requested a detailed report from the Commissioner Karachi.
According to details, the fire started on the ground floor, affecting businesses and swiftly spreading to residential flats. Eyewitnesses revealed that a gas cylinder leakage in a store triggered the fire, causing an explosion that ruptured the cylinder. The ensuing blaze engulfed furniture stores and foam shops, spreading to nearby establishments and ascending to the upper floors of the residential building.
To mitigate the impact, a joint effort involving the police, Rangers, Rescue 1122, and Fire Brigade deployed 12 fire tenders, two snorkels, and a bowser. It took over six hours to control the fire completely. The Rescue 1122 team declared the situation as a third-degree fire.
Amidst the chaos, individuals trapped in the building desperately tried to evacuate, with dramatic scenes unfolding as rescuers assisted in the evacuation efforts. Rescue authorities have rescued more than 300 individuals who were initially trapped in the affected building, expressing concern that the structure could collapse at any moment.
A four-member technical team from the State Bank of Pakistan has arrived at the scene to assess the impact of the fire. Following a thorough investigation, authorities will determine the structural integrity of the building and whether it remains fit for use. Meanwhile, residents affected by the fire have been relocated, emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced safety measures in commercial and residential complexes to prevent such incidents in the future.