On this day………….3 years ago, more than 280 people were killed in a fire at a clothing factory in Baldia Town, Karachi in what is believed to be the worst disaster of its kind in Pakistan’s history.
The Ali Enterprises factory exported clothes to Europe and the United States. An inspection in 2007 had revealed deficiencies in fire precautions, but a few weeks before the blaze in 2012, the building passed a safety test.
But when fire raced through the factory, it was said that exit doors were locked and windows were covered with iron bars, trapping victims inside. It was reported that it took the fire brigade 75 minutes to reach the scene.
A judicial inquiry concluded that the fire was caused by an electrical fault, but then in February of this year came claims that the MQM, one of Karachi’s leading political parties, had been involved in starting it. Last month, it was reported that investigators had travelled to London to interview the factory’s owners.