Death of youth after jumping from building: KMC administrator, KESC CEO, chief fire officer ordered personal appearance

Karachi: Sindh High Court SHC on Monday ordered personal appearance of Administrator Karachi Metropolitan Corporation KMC, Chief Executive Officer Karachi Electric Supply Company KESC, and Chief Fire Officer on a petition regarding death of a young man who jumped out of the State Life Building located in Saddar to save his life when fire broke out there.

The applicant, Nadeem Shaikh Advocate, had moved the court through an application regarding this incident which was later converted into the constitutional petition by Chief Justice of SHC and notices were issued to respondents.

The applicant had contended that the fire department and rescue department did nothing to save the life of young man and they responded to situation inefficiently and unprofessionally.

Headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar, the division bench observed that it was reported that young man in endeavour to save his life kept hanging for 15 minutes; however, nobody came to rescue him although KMC fire station was hardly 3 kilometres away from the building and perhaps his life could have been saved had prompt action taken.

Bench directed government of Sindh, KMC particularly fire department, and deputy attorney general to file their detailed comments particularly dealing with the questions such as to whether the State Life Building has adequate fire escape facilities, does the building has appropriate and adequate fire fighting system, is this system checked periodically, as to why the fire broke out, what arrangements do fire fighting department and rescue department take to respond to emergencies.

Bench also directed them to file respective replies of questions like does fire department has well trained and skilled manpower and essential facilities to avert or mitigate the situation, if not why such manpower was not employed, does the civil defence department ensure that fire or emergency drills are carried out as required and more particularly in respect of public buildings.

Bench observed that it was unfortunate and shocking to note that young man was hanging and till the time he lost grip and fell down the entire incident was being telecasted by various channels, live, and as the details of incident have been published in daily newspapers.

Therefore, bench also ordered issuance of notice to PEMRA to explain what measure PEMRA has taken to prevent broadcast and printing of such incidents.

The court also issued notice to All Pakistan Newspapers Society APNS, so that they may also place before the court as to what measures had the society taken to prevent their members from indulging into such acts.