published : 2023-11-26

Deadly Fire Engulfs Pakistan Mall, Leaving 10 Dead and 22 Injured

Call centers and software firms also affected

A photo of the RJ Mall in Karachi, where the devastating fire took place. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

A large fire broke out in a shopping mall in Pakistan, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least 10 individuals and leaving 22 others injured.

The fire erupted in the RJ Mall, a multistory building located in the southwestern city of Karachi. This complex housed call centers and software firms, making it a crucial hub for business operations.

At around 6:30 a.m., the fire department received an alert and swiftly dispatched eight fire trucks to the scene. Chief Fire Officer Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan reported that the majority of the fire ravaged the fourth floor of the building, where several call centers were situated.

Despite the early hour, the mall was closed, preventing potential harm to additional individuals. However, the intensity of the flames posed a grave threat to the lives of those trapped within the building.

Rescue workers carrying a victim's body after the fire broke out. (Taken with Nikon D850)

Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui confirmed that the fire had been extinguished, but a necessary cooling process was underway. Amidst the devastation, Siddiqui expressed determination to save the lives of those injured, as five were in critical condition.

Efforts to treat the injured were underway, with Siddiqui assuring reporters that every measure would be taken to provide the necessary medical attention and save lives.

The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time. However, NEWS9 Live, an English news service in India, speculated that the blaze may have originated from a short-circuited generator, rapidly spreading to engulf two stories of the building and trapping victims within.

Harrowing images from the scene depicted lifeless bodies being carried out of the mall in body bags, loaded into ambulances awaiting them. Smoke billowed from the building, a haunting testament to the destructive nature of the fire.

A close-up shot of firefighters extinguishing the flames at the shopping mall. (Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

Unfortunately, fires are not uncommon in Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province. Earlier this year, a fire erupted in a garment factory, claiming the lives of four brave firefighters. The inferno tore through the building, eventually causing its collapse.

In another tragic incident in August 2021, 10 individuals lost their lives in a fire that engulfed a chemical factory in the city.

Regrettably, Karachi has experienced its fair share of fire-related disasters. In 2012, an arson attack on a factory claimed the lives of 260 people. Two individuals were sentenced to death for starting the fire, motivated by the factory owners' refusal to pay bribes.

As investigations into the recent mall fire continue, the citizens of Karachi mourn the lives lost and hope for improved safety measures to prevent such devastating incidents in the future.