LAHORE - A man died and another broke his legs after they jumped off a burning building in Ichra on Tuesday.

Fifty people, including women and children, trapped in the fire that engulfed the fourth and fifth floors of 11-storey plaza on busy Ferozpur Road were rescued.

Ten people, who sustained minor inures, were taken to hospital.

According to officials, short-circuit caused the fire. Rescue was made difficult because of traffic mess on one of the busiest roads of the city.

The plaza consists of commercial and domestic apartments.

Although the fire safety laws exit, no implementation results into such tragedies.

On September 15, 2012 the Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) had asked the federal government to approve its proposal of introducing fire and community safety legislation, besides establishing an impartial building control authority, to prevent fire incidents.

The twin tragedy – Karachi and Lahore factory fires – had raised the demand for concerted efforts on the part of the federal and the provincial governments to adopt adequate measures to avert such incidents. Most of the commercial and residential buildings – such as shopping malls, hotels, trade centres, housing societies and government installations – lack a proper fire control system.

“There is a dire need for taking collective steps to ensure safer community and all stakeholders should be taken into confidence,” Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer told this scribe.

He said the proposal titled ‘Fire and Community Safety Legislation’ had been forwarded to the Cabinet Division for final approval, laying stress on a joint strategy to cope with fire emergency.

“The government has been asked to implement a collective strategy for the prevention of such fires in residential as well as commercial; punishment for irresponsible people, issuance of fire equipment installation certificates to industrial units and fire control measures,” he added.

The director general said the Rescue 1122 contains 137 fire vehicles and 41 water bowsers at 68 rescue stations across the Punjab. Similarly, he added, 88 lead fire rescuers (LFRs) and 492 fire rescuers had been discharging their duties in 24 districts of the province, whereas all available resources were being utilised to ensure safer community.