Pakistan chemical factory fire kills more than a dozen workers

The fire broke out inside a chemical factory in Mehran Town, a congested Karachi neighbourhood.

A fire has engulfed a chemical factory in Pakistan’s Karachi city, killing at least 15 workers, officials say.

The fire broke out inside the factory in Mehran Town, a congested Karachi neighbourhood, rescue official Mobeen Ahmed said on Friday.

At least 15 bodies have been retrieved from the rubble of a building that partially collapsed, but a rescue operation is still under way, Ahmed said.

More than 20 labourers were inside the compound when a highly flammable chemical caught fire. It spread to the entire building shortly afterwards.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire. TV footage showed firefighters dousing the flames, as ambulances continued transporting victims to a government hospital.

Murtaza Wahab, a spokesman for the provincial government, told reporters that the firefighters had almost extinguished the fire. He said officers had been asked to investigate the cause and would also check whether the owner had installed fire extinguishing equipment.

Karachi is the capital of Sindh province, where many people have set up factories in residential areas in violation of building codes.

In 2015, at least 30 people were killed when a factory collapsed in the city.

More than 250 labourers were killed when a fire broke out at a garment factory in Karachi in 2012.

That incident drew global outrage because the factory was supplying products to global chains, including German retailer KiK.


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