KARACHI - One person died and 10 others injured after a four-storeyed residential building collapsed in Karachi’s Korangi area, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre Director Dr Seemin Jamali said. The victim was 15 years old, she added. As many as 10 people have been reportedly injured.

The five-storey building was located near Rasheedia Masjid in Allah Wala Town, Korangi, SP Shahnawaz Chachar said. The personnel of Pak Army, Sindh Rangers and area police reached the incident site and took part in the rescue work. The building was in deplorable condition and was declared dangerous for humans lives. Several families were residing in the building; however some of the inhabitants refused to evacuate their houses. Speaking of relief and rescue efforts, the SP said that he had reached the spot immediately after the incident occurred along with four cranes, which removed the debris and rescued around seven to eight persons.

Rangers and rescue services also arrived soon after, besides the Pakistan Army’s engineering corps, which took part in the rescue operation.

Three people, including one woman and two children, are still buried under the rubble and an operation to rescue them is underway, according to a statement by Korangi police station.

Residents said that the building’s basement had filled with water after the recent heavy rains, which may have weakened its structure.

SP Chachar further said that the building was constructed by a private contractor four years ago. He said that the cause behind the building’s collapse will be determined after an inquiry.

Around 40 to 50 people had been living in the building, he said, adding that most of the residents had vacated the building two days ago. At the time of the collapse, two families were still residing in the building. Meanwhile, Sindh Building Control Authority (SCBA) Korangi Director Asif Rizvi said the building was constructed illegally. “The building was constructed on China-cutting land,” he said, adding that it had no map or approval. According to Chhipa sources, the deceased boy was identified as 14-year-old Waqas son of Hanif while six injured included, Ayoub, 45, Nazish,17, Kiran, 15, Nisha, 32, Rani, 40 and Rema, 14.

Another building was also affected after the collapse and it was in dangerous position too. The area resident while talking to media said that many of the families were residing in the building before it was declared dangerous but most of them left it. At the time of incident, two families were still living in the building, he added. It may be recalled here this is not the first time that such incident was reported in the city as at least 49 people lost their lives and several sustained injuries as two residential buildings collapsed separately this year in Lyari and Golimar localities.

Administrator visits incident site

Administrator Karachi Iftikhar Ali Shallwani on Thursday said that inquiry would be held to asecrtain the reason behind building collapse in Korangi.

Three to five storey buildings have been established in many residential araes of Karachi where only ground plus one is permissible. Action will be taken against responsible for allowing such constructions as such buildings are dangerous for humans lives. Shallwani said while reviewing rescue works after a building collapsed in Allah Wala Town, Korangi. Deputy Commissioner Korangi Shaheryay, Senior Director Coordination Masood Alam and officers of fire brigade and rescue services were also present on the occasion. Shallwani reached the incident site and overviewed the rescue works. He directed that all resources should be utilized to save human lives and all precautionary measure be used while removing debris.

He directed the concerned officials to remain on the site till the operation is completed. The Administrator directed that rescue work should be completed at the earliest and the work be continue in night as well to save human lives.

Bilwal expresses sorrow

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed sorrow over the incident and ordered high level inquiry into the matter. He directed that responsible persons should be taken to task.

This is the third such incident to have taken place in the metropolis this year. In June, a five-storey building collapsed in Karachi resulting in the deaths of at least 22 people. In March, a building collapsed in the Gulbahar area, killing 27 people and injuring at least 17 others.

A month after the residential building collapsed in Lyari, the civic administration asked the provincial authorities to delist more than 50 ‘dangerous’ buildings from the list of structures listed under the Sindh Cultural Heritage Protection Act as protected heritage so that these could be demolished for public safety.