Five killed as under-construction building collapses in Karachi

Police claim roof of three-storey structure in southern Pakistan city gave way under strain of ongoing work

Rescue workers at a collapsed residential block in Karachi in 2020. Five people were killed when a three-storey building collapsed in the southern Pakistan city on Wednesday. AFP
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Five people were killed when a three-storey building that was under construction collapsed in the Shah Faisal Colony area of Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi on Wednesday.

Some reports said all those killed were labourers working on the site in the southern city, while others said a pedestrian was also among the dead.

Police said four labourers were also taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Inspector Saqib Khan, station house officer of Shah Faisal Colony Police, told The National that initially three people were killed and two more bodies were recovered later.

“Two labourers had been trapped and their bodies were recovered an hour after the building collapse,” said Inspector Khan.

A mason working at the building said he and another labourer had taken a break to go to a nearby market to buy tea when they heard a loud noise.

“When we reached back, we saw the building had collapsed. There are two construction workers trapped inside, namely Naseer and Ismail, when we left the building for the tea shop,” he said.

The wife of trapped labourer Naseer Ahmed said the family had waited at the site for more than an hour but that the rescue operation had started late.

“Soon after we got to know about the collapse, we reached this place. But why was the rescue process so slow? This is an injustice. We lost our breadwinner,” she said at the scene of the incident.

Rescue operations director Abid Sheikh said though the operation began on time, delays can often occur in densely populated areas.

According to local police, the roof of the building could not bear the weight of construction work, which led to the collapse.

Updated: October 12, 2023, 4:44 AM