11 people killed in fire at Regent Plaza hotel, Karachi

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(Courtesy: Dawn News)

11 people were killed and 70 others injured when a fire erupted at Karachi’s Regent Plaza hotel early Monday, police said. According to reports, fire started in the hotel’s kitchen and made its way up, trapping guests and staff. Firefighters and rescue officials arrived at the scene and contained the fire within three hours. The four-star hotel is located on the city’s main Shahrah-e-Faisal road.

The injured, which include three United Bank Limited players, were immediately shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. Officials at the hospital stated that of the 70 injured, 30 are in critical condition. Amongst the injured were local as well as foreign guests.

Three trucks from the fire brigade reached the site and started an operation to rescue the guests. The firefighters were able to contain the blaze after three hours. Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar speaking to reporters said the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained. He said the hotel had “no fire exits or fire alarms”.

Details tell that although the blaze was not very intense and was contained “quite early”, the smoke kept circulating inside because the air conditioning system stayed on. There was no exhaust inside and due to this most people suffocated to death.

It is alarming to know that such huge hotels do not have fire exits and exhausts in their infrastructure. People used sheets to climb down the building.

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Amna Kazi

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