Karachi Mall Inferno Claims At Least 9 Lives

City administrators say at least 22 people were rescued, one remains under treatment

Karachi Mall Inferno Claims At Least 9 Lives

An early morning fire at a commercial high-rise and shopping mall in Karachi on Saturday claimed at least nine lives with another injured, police and rescue services said.

The fire erupted in the RJ Mall on Rashid Minhas Road of Karachi at around 6:30am.

The city's fire department said they dispatched eight fire trucks and two snorkels - which are equipped to tackle fires in high-rises, along with two bowsers to help put out the blaze.

By afternoon, the rescue services said they had managed to control the fire and that they were in the "cooling" process to lower the overall temperature of the structure to prevent any embers from reigniting the fire.

The building houses an electronics and clothing goods market at the ground level while there are offices with call centres and software houses, which remain operational throughout the night, on its upper commercial floors.

The District East Deputy Commissioner said that 22 people had been rescued and shifted to hospitals of which one had succumbed to injuries.

However, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) said that nine bodies were brought, including eight at JPMC and one at CHK.

A teenager injured in the incident remains under treatment in CHK.

The incident comes a week after city authorities said that nearly 90% of structures built in Karachi, whether residential, commerical or mixed, have not followed building codes, especially codes for safety.