KARACHI        -          Three more bodies were recovered on Sunday from the debris of buildings that fell in Gulbahar area of the city earlier this week, bringing the death toll to 25.

Edhi Welfare Foundation and police sources told APP that the body of Dr Ghazala Rashid, 48, Ishrat Zahid, 52, wife of Zahid Hussain, and Kausar Jahan, 55, were recovered from the debris of collapsed buildings on Sunday.

The body of a youth namely Sufyan Sheikh, a resident of Hyderabad, was also recovered from the rubble in the early hours on Sunday.

Sufyan, who was on a visit to Karachi, stayed at the house of his aunt inside one of the collapsed structures, said police sources.

Body of Sufyan had been sent to his home town Hyderabad, through Edhi ambulance, the Edhi sources told APP.

Bodies of seven other victims have also been dispatched to Shikarpur district by the Edhi Ambulance service.

The doctors of the Abbasi Shaheed hospital believe that most of the victims died of suffocation due  to compression or obstruction.

On Thursday, the residential building had fallen on two adjacent structures, bringing them to the ground as well, killing 14 people and injuring at least 17 others.

Since then, bodies of multiple victims have been retrieved from the debris while a boy was pulled out alive from the rubble on Saturday.

However, seven to eight people still remain trapped underneath the collapsed buildings, according to the spokesperson for Edhi Foundation Saad Edhi.

“The rescue operation is ongoing and we have reached the ground floor. The rescuers have apprehensions some seven to eight people are still trapped [...] they might be alive.”

The spokesperson added that the area was congested so more heavy machinery could not be brought in to help with rescue efforts. A rescue team of the Pakistan Army cordoned off the area while the workers at the site said that the rescue operation was expected to be completed by Sunday evening. A preliminary investigation suggested that the builder had allegedly carried out major excavation work at the foundation and tried to erect additional pillars to support the existing pillars. He did it to strengthen the building structure and prevent it from collapsing.

Rizvia Society police station investigation officer Agha Amir told a local English daily that the owner, Mohammed Javed Khan, had started construction work on a fifth floor when the building cracked.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had taken notice of the building’s collapse on Friday, and directed the commissioner to ensure that rescue and relief operations were executed smoothly in the area.

Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Housing and Town Planning Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has already sought report on the tragedy from the Commissioner Karachi and the concerned officials of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA).

Mayor Wasim Akhtar, while taking notice of the incident, had ordered that the injured be provided the best possible medical care.

Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar had also directed Central Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad Arif Aslam Rao to lead the rescue operation in the area, according to a police press release.

Contingents of police and Rangers were dispatched to the area to help with the rescue operation.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also took notice of the building collapse and asked Commissioner Karachi and Sindh Building Control Authority to compile detailed reports on the incident.

On Friday, a case was registered at Rizvia Police Station in Karachi in the state’s name against the building’s owner.

The first information report includes clauses 322 (causing death without intention), 119 (Qisas), 337 (causing bodily harm), 427 (mischief causing material damage) and 190 (aiding and abetting) of the Pakistan Penal Code.