KARACHI: A pre-dawn fire at a hotel in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi on Monday killed at least 11 people and injured 75 others, police and a doctor said.
Among the dead were four women while the injured included some foreigners.
The blaze broke out in the kitchen located at the ground floor of the four-star hotel located on the city’s Shahrah-i-Faisal, and swept through the building, trapping scores of hotel guests in their rooms.
Most of the victims had suffered from smoke inhalation or suffocated, Chief Fire Office Tehseen Siddiqui told Dawn News. He added that the hotel has now been evacuated completely.
Some people were injured after jumping from windows to escape the blaze.
Police Senior Superintendent Saqib Memon said the cause of the fire in the Regent Plaza Hotel was not clear and an investigation had been launched.
Memon confirmed the death toll and said it took three hours for the fire to be brought under control.
International and domestic cricket players were among those injured in the blaze. The team, which was staying at the fourth floor of the hotel, woke up to the fire, said Nadeem Khan, head of the UBL Sports Department.
He said bowler Yasim Murtaza’s ankle was fractured as he jumped from the second floor to save his life and the player is now recovering at a hospital. Karamat Ali was also injured.
International cricketer Sohaib Maqsood was also staying at the hotel but remained safe in the fire, said Nadeem.
Building fires in Pakistan are often caused by faulty wiring or electrical short-circuits.