The other day I had an occasion to attend a wedding in one of the marquee wedding halls of Islamabad and for the four hours or so that I was in there had been quite horrifying for me. The marquee interior was one big pillarless hall the ceiling of which had miles of highly inflammable synthetic fabric hung artistically in arched waves bedecked with all kinds of electric and electronic lights, huge chandeliers, colourful and decorative LEDs etc. The small decorative light bulbs were studded in rows after rows in the willowy thin and highly combustible synthetic fabric and there must be very long electric cables and wires carrying electricity in them. A small spark could ignite the whole ceiling into an inferno that would have engulfed all inside and with only one entrance/exit there could have been many casualties not only due to fire but due to the stampede also.

CDA must look into this possible cause of disaster by ensuring absolutely fool and spark proof electric wiring in and around the ceiling, very efficient Fire Fighting Equipment (which incidentally I saw none there) and having at least half a dozen of Emergency Exits.

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),

Rawalpindi, April 3.