International desk – At least 11 people were killed and score others wounded after a fire erupted in Karachi’s Regent Plaza hotel early Monday, media reports said quoting officials of the country.
Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported that the blaze broke out in the kitchen located at the ground floor of the four-star hotel in the city’s Shahrah-i-Faisal, and swept through the building, trapping scores of hotel guests in their rooms.
Firefighters rescued the guests. They managed to contain the blaze after three hours of efforts but 11 people were killed by this time, according to a press release by the local police station.
Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar told reporters that the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained.
He said the hotel had “no fire exits or fire alarms”.
At least 65 people affected by the fire were brought to the emergency department of JPMC, Dr Seemin Jamali, head of the emergency services at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre,told DawnNews.
Amongst those were people who had fractured bones after jumping from hotel windows to escape, others had been hurt by shattered glass and many were treated for smoke inhalation, she said.
She said 11 bodies had been brought into the hospital. Six men, including three doctors and the hotel’s front desk manager, and five women were among the dead. Three foreigners affected by the fire are in a stable condition, said Jamali.
Most of the country’s buildings don’t meet safety standards to avoid such mishaps.
Television footage showed the guests at the hotel using bedsheets to climb down from windows.
Chief Fire Office Tehseen Siddiqui said 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.
Siddiqui said there was no exhaust inside and due to this “most people suffocated to death”. He further said that the hotel has now been evacuated completely.