A fire tore through the multi-story RJ Mall in Karachi, Pakistan, resulting in at least 10 fatalities and over 20 injuries, as reported by officials and local media. The commercial high-rise, which also houses call centers and software firms, became the scene of the tragedy on Saturday morning.
Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui confirmed on social media platform X that the fire had been extinguished, and first responders were engaged in the cooling process. However, conflicting reports from local media suggested the death toll might be higher.
The blaze erupted on the fourth floor of the RJ Mall, with over 60 people inside the six-story building at the time. Firefighters rescued around 50 individuals, but additional occupants remained trapped. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, prompting an investigation.
This incident sheds light on the persistent fire risks in Karachi, where building codes are often overlooked, and safety measures are inadequate. Karachi, with its population of 20.3 million, has faced similar tragedies in the past, including a garment factory fire earlier this year that claimed four firefighters’ lives.
The inadequacy of firefighting infrastructure and lax enforcement of safety regulations have contributed to frequent incidents, prompting concerns about the safety of residential and commercial structures. Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui and Governor Kamran Tessori have both called for thorough investigations into the incident.