- Three killed as they jump off building to save life
- NAB to investigate blaze
A raging fire that erupted in LDA Plaza on Lahore’s Edgerton Road killed eight persons on Thursday and injured dozens others.
The fire had not been put out until this report was filed around midnight on Thursday, almost 11 hours after it first began.
Three of the deaths came when desperate people tried to save their life by jumping off the building from the eight floor.
The dead included Iqbal Butt, Ikram, Asif, Riaz and Amjad.
Per details, the fire erupted on the ninth floor of the building at around 11am, purportedly due to short circuiting.
The incident was reported to rescue authorities at about 11:56am, almost an hour after the blaze first erupted.
A witness in the building, Abdul Razzaq said the employees working in the building took the news of fire lightly at first, but after about 30 to 35 minutes, the fire got out of hands and everyone rushed for the exit.
Four helicopters were used in rescue operation besides fire tenders and rescue vehicles.
Two of the helicopters were provided by the military while the other two belonged to the governor and the chief minister.
The choppers evacuated 15 employees and moved them to various hospitals.
Men jump off:
In desperate attempt to save themselves from the fire, at least three people jumped off the building. One of them died on the spot while two others succumbed to their injuries at a hospital.
Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan said there was no equipment or facility available inside the LDA plaza to cope with fire incidents.
“The fire started at 11am but the Rescue 1122 was informed at about 11:56am,” he said.
“The building is worth billions of rupees but there was no mechanism to cope with fires in place in the building. Much loss would have been avoided had Rescue 1122 been informed of the accident earlier,” Dr Rizwan added.
He said access to the building was difficult due to the design of the building and there was no such proper place to put ladders or any other equipment to rescue the people.
He said that there was also no place to open the sheets on which the people could jump from the building due to the sloped surface.
Business tycoon Malik Riaz announced Rs 0.5m in compensation for families of the deceased victims.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took notice of the reports regarding burning of valuable record, including that of revenue in the LDAPlaza fire.
NAB Chairman Admiral (r) Fasih Bokhari directed NAB Punjab to take cognisance of the fire and look for the possible reasons of the fire.
He also desired that an inquiry should establish if there was some hidden hand behind the unfortunate incident.
“The NAB will call relevant departments including Revenue, LDA, City District Government, Lahore Rescue 1122 and other stakeholders in this regard. These departments would be called under NAB’s prevention regime to determine the reasons behind this unfortunate incident and burning of records may be investigated if facts support a probe,” the NAB chairman said.