A large fire ripped through a shopping mall in Pakistan on Saturday morning, killing at least 10 people and injuring 22 others.
The fire broke out inside RJ Mall, a multi-story building in the southwestern city of Karachi. The building also houses call centers and software firms.
The fire department was alerted to the blaze at around 6:30 a.m. and dispatched eight fire trucks to the scene, according to Chief Fire Officer Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan.
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Khan said most of the fire tore through the fourth floor of the building, where numerous call centers are situated. The shopping mall is understood to have been closed at the time.
Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui said that the fire had been extinguished, and a cooling process was underway.
He said that of the 22 injured, five were in critical condition.
“We are trying our best to do whatever it takes to save their lives and to provide them with whatever treatment that is required for saving their lives,” Siddiqui told reporters at the scene.
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The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.
However, NEWS9 Live, an English news service in India, reported that the blaze may have started by a short-circuit generator, and it spread to engulf two stories – trapping the victims.
Harrowing images from the scene show dead bodies being taken out of the building in body bags and placed in ambulances. Smoke could be seen billowing up from the building.
Fire incidents are not uncommon in Karachi, the capital of southern Sindh province.
Earlier this year, a fire tore through a garment factory killing four firefighters. The flames ripped through the building, eventually causing it to collapse.
In August 2021, at least 10 people were killed in a fire at a chemical factory in the city.
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In 2012, 260 people died in an arson attack when a factory was set ablaze. Two people were sentenced to death for the fire which they started because the factory owners refused to pay bribes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.