8 in Cargo Complex died within 3 hrs, Advice to form special emergency depart put forth: Committee Report

KARACHI: The Independent Karachi Airport Attack Fact Finding Committee, headed by Air Commodore Noor Elahi Bajwa, issued its final report on Wednesday night. Bashir Jan Muhammad and Ahmed Chinoy were the members of three member committee appointed by the Government of Pakistan.

The committee through extensive interviews with the families of victims, Airport Security Force (ASF), Rangers, Army, Police and Fire Fighting personnel, all other relevant people and scrutiny of the CCTV footage found that 08 Gerry’s employee were actually trapped in the Gerry’s Dnata Cargo Complex which is about 150 feet away from the Cold Storage, stated the report.

Furthermore, the committee after examining the evidence such as phone records of the victims’ relatives and families, postmortem reports and interviews with the doctors at Jinnah Hospital Karachi found that the deaths did not occur 24 hours after the incident. The last death occurred before 2:00am of 09th June 2014. However, the miss communicated location of the victims (Cold Storage) also affected the rescue process.

Looking into the delayed fire extinguishing and enormity of the fire, the committee found that the Fire Tender reached the incident site at 11:25PM on 8th June 2014. However upon attempting to extinguish the fire they were attacked by the terrorist and a fire fighter was hit. Another attempt was made at 2:15AM on 9th June but to no success as the terrorist were still firing at the tenders. Fire fighting finally began at 3:45AM after clearance from the security agencies. However forensic examination of the remains disclosed that large quantities of lithium based mobile batteries fueled the fire to the catastrophes it created.

The committee in its remarks stated that despite all efforts the authorities were neither trained nor equipped to handle such emergencies like the modern world airports. Therefore, the committee has advised Government of Pakistan to formulate Special Emergency Department to handle such situations. It also moved the Government and Gerry’s Dnata to compensate for the victims’ families by all means possible.

About the author

Saad B Murtaza

Saad B. Murtaza is a journalist and creative writer based in Karachi. He has been working as an Investigative/Diplomat Reporter since 2010 and as a Creative Writer since 2008.

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