KARACHI: On Wednesday, major progress occurred in the RJ shopping mall fire case as the police arrested five key suspects allegedly responsible for the incident that killed around a dozen innocent people. The east zone police arrested Abid Shah (security in-charge), Imran Adnan (owner of the software house), and Sultan & Faizan (member mall’s administration).
The fire erupted on the fourth floor of the mall, suspectedly due to a short circuit. It later engulfed other floors which caused the death of at least 11 people and severe injuries to five people. According to the officials, the lack of a proper ventilation system became the prime reason for deaths.
The first information report (FIR) was registered by Sub Inspector Sadaruddin Mirani at Sharae Faisal Police Station against the builders, individuals who approved the map, those who issued the no-objection certificate (NOC), the management of the shopping mall, K-Electric and the relevant fire station for negligence in duty. The FIR was lodged under the following Sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC):
- 285 (negligent conduct concerning fire or combustible matter)
- 322 (manslaughter)
- 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy)
- 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention)
- 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees)
- 288 (negligent conduct concerning pulling down or repairing buildings)
The Fire Brigade Department submitted the preliminary report that stated ‘no public safety system’ at the RJ shopping mall. The report stated there were no emergency exit doors, exit signs, preventive mechanisms, emergency lighting, and power backup systems.
The report claimed that timely information was not forwarded to the department. It added that the third and fourth floors were burning severely when the fire brigade reached the scene. The intense smoke created difficulties in firefighting operations.