KARACHI: Police on Sunday booked three factory owners on charges of manslaughter and negligence after 18 people, including 16 children, died from inhaling “toxic fumes” in Karachi’s Keamari district.
Over the past few days, 18 people have reportedly died in the neighbourhood due to inhaling mysterious toxic gases emitting from factories functioning in residential areas.
Officials from the Sindh health department earlier said the deaths took place over a period of two weeks — between Jan 10 and 25 — in Ali Muhammad Goth and Mowach Goth.
Mochko Station House Officer (SHO) Chaudhry Shahid told Dawn.com that a first information report (FIR) had been registered against three factory owners.
He said that the case was registered on the complaint of a citizen who had lost four family members while living in Ali Mohammed Goth, located on Suparco Road near Mowach Goth.
“Among the three nominated suspects, only one has been arrested so far,” the officer said.
The FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered under Sections 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab), 284 (negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance) and 34 (acts done by several persons In furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Khadim Husain, the complainant, said that he lived in Ali Mohammed Goth along with his family. He said that several factories for recycling goods in large quantities had been established in the area.
He said that the owners had not taken any safety measures, which caused hazardous smoke and a foul smell to permeate the area.
The complainant said his wife Razia and their three children — 18-year-old Shoaib, 4-year-old Shahid and 1-year-old Haleema — fell ill between Jan 12 and Jan 21, before all four succumbed to the illness.