Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar

At least 11 people were killed and 30 severely injured after a fire broke out on the sixth floor of Regent Plaza hotel in the wee hours of Monday near Shahrah-e-Faisal in Karachi.

Firefighters were able to douse the fire after four hours, with the help of three fire tenders. About 100 people were reported to be stranded at the hotel and were taken out by rescue workers using a crane.

Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar visited the site of the incident, and while talking to media, he said the fire had been contained, but the cause of the fire could not be determined as of yet. He said rescue work was hampered due to the absence of an emergency exit and spread of thick smoke.

Waseem Akhtar had declared that he would resolve the metropolitan city menaces in just 100 days, and now he is implying that he is not a magician. What a weak mayor we have in office. Sir, it’s not the first time Karachi has tackled a fire eruption in the building, why still you need the investigations. Oh! So big words. Where are the reports of the previous incidents?

Waseem Akhtar said the hotel had “no fire exits or fire alarms”, and “He is not a magician”.

According to Jinnah Hospital officials, as many as 30 people were in critical condition after suffering suffocation due to the smoke and were receiving medical attention. At least 11 bodies were brought to the morgue, confirmed Dr Seemi Jamali, executive director and head of the emergency at Jinnah Hospital.

Dr Jamali said three doctors were among the dead. Among the dead were seven men, four women. Most of the victims died due to suffocation. There were no foreigners among the dead.  More than 70 people are under treatment at the hospital, she added, of whom one is a foreigner.

The only compensation which will be given to the grieved families will be just some lac rupees, is it worth the loss? When will the government act to get the culprits behind bars?

SSP District South Karachi Saqib Ismail Memon said rescue teams reached the site promptly and broke window panes to save those trapped inside the hotel. The official said the fire started in the kitchen and spread from there.

The rescue operation has not ended, and some people are still reportedly trapped inside the hotel. Most of the country’s buildings don’t meet safety standards to avoid such mishaps.

In this age of modern architecture and safety SOPs, people were left with ropes to get out of the building.

A man standing at a balcony kept waving for help, but the hotel didn’t have any means to reach him, a survivor, Hamid Ali, told a TV channel. He said the guests were sleeping when the fire broke out.

Pakistan batsman Sohaib Maqsood was present in the hotel at the time of the tragedy. UBL cricketers were also staying at the hotel and were evacuated from their rooms following the deadly fire.  Bowler Yasin Murtaza jumped from the second floor to the ground and fractured his ankle. Karamat Ali was injured by broken glass, according to sources.

Karachi witnessed 4th fire eruption in just 13 days. Mayor Karachi emphasised which we already knew that the hotel doesn’t have fire exists, most buildings in Karachi and Lahore doesn’t have this much-needed facility. Why? Who to blame? Mayor, Chief Minister or the national body?

Regent Plaza Hotel is one of the finest hotels in the country if this is the condition of this hotel, what about the cheap hotels? There are no safety SOPs followed in Pakistan.

Fire incidents are just becoming routine in Pakistan, now and then we come across such tragedies like garment factory fire in Lahore and the Gadani tragedy but still no one serious to resolve the issue.

No authority want to curb these incidents.

PPP leadership is busy in just raising stupid and lame statements and slogans, they never focused on the real problems and their solutions. MQM also failed to deliver anything substantial. If they don’t want to deliver, why people vote them? Just to enjoy the misery?

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