The fire in the multi-storey garment factory in Baldia Town area of Karachi broke out at 6 pm local time yesterday leaving 166 people dead, hours after a blaze at a shoe factory in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, claimed 25 lives, officials said today.
Rescue workers had pulled out 166 bodies from the Karachi factory till this afternoon and the toll could rise as several areas of the multi-storey building are yet to be cleared, Karachi Commissioner Roshan Ali Shaikh told reporters.
The Jinnah Hospital alone had received 88 bodies, Shaikh said.
"Some more people could be trapped in cabins and the basement, which are yet to be cleared. Rescue workers are proceeding carefully as huge cracks have appeared in the building, which could collapse at any time," he said.
Sagheer Ahmed, Health Minister of Sindh province, said 31 people were injured in the Karachi fire. Women and children were among the dead and injured.
Only about 55 bodies had been identified so far as many of them were badly charred, officials said.
When the fire engulfed the second and third floors of the factory in Karachi yesterday, several workers jumped out of windows in desperation. Others used the lights of their mobile phones to signal their location to fire fighters.
Special ladders were used to bring down people who gathered on the roof. (More)