At least three dead, 250 evacuated in Karachi Arshi mall fire

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At least three dead, 250 evacuated in Karachi Arshi mall fire

At least three people died as a devastating fire engulfed the Arshi shopping mall in Karachi’s Ayesha Manzil area on Wednesday evening.

Several people were trapped inside the residential building above the shops – who were later rescued.

Casualties

Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab confirmed the tragic loss of three lives in the devastating fire at Arshi Mall.

He revealed that two bodies were discovered on the building’s mezzanine floor, while the body of another individual who sustained severe burns, estimated at 95%, was also recovered.

Additionally, the fire severely impacted approximately 50 shops within the mall.

Evacuation

The inferno was declared ‘third degree’ that erupted around 5:47pm, originating in a clothes shop and rapidly spreading to neighbouring stores of foam and furniture.

Rescue 1122 director stated that approximately 300 individuals had been evacuated from the building. He further noted that firefighters anticipate extinguishing the fire completely by 10pm.

How it started?

A worker at the market witnessed the fire starting from a gas cylinder in a clothes shop.

According to him, shopkeepers in the affected shop immediately rushed to grab water to extinguish it. But unfortunately, the flames spread rapidly before they could contain it.

Inquiry ordered

Sindh Interim Chief Minister (CM) Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar ordered an inquiry into the incident and set up a monitoring committee led by Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Saleem Rajput, according to CM’s spokesperson.

This committee’s main goal is to figure out why the fire happened and identify any negligence that might have caused it. The report submission deadline is three days.

The CM stressed the need to understand both the reasons behind the fire and who is responsible.

Initial operations

Chief Fire Officer, Ishtiaq Ahmed, stated that seven fire brigade vehicles, a snorkel, and a water bowser were deployed to the scene to extinguish the inferno.

Rescue teams swiftly mobilized to evacuate residents trapped within the flats above the burning shops.

SSP Central Faisal Abdullah provided additional details, revealing that the fire started in a clothes shop and quickly spread to nearby stores, escalating into a major conflagration.

Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab stated that additional fire brigade vehicles had been dispatched to the scene, and the primary focus was on minimizing human casualties in the ongoing fire incident.