RAWALPINDI: Eight people, including five young women and a bride-to-be, were killed when a fire broke out in a house at around 12.30pm where mehndi celebrations were on. The deceased also included three children who were asphyxiated by smoke on the first floor.
The unfortunate incident occurred in a Satellite Town house on the Sixth Road. As per reports, Mehndi celebrations were in progress when a blast took place that’s believed to be caused by a gas leak. As a result, most part of the house was engulfed by flames.
The blast was heard at a distance in the area, prompting the students of the nearby law college to rush to the scene. Hearing the screams of victims caught in the fire, the students smashed the window panes and broke open the doors to rescue them. The house was full of guests. According to one of the students, who led his colleagues to launch the rescue operation, three terrified children rushed to the first floor of the house, where they hid under a bed and were asphyxiated by smoke.
The bride-to-be and another woman received fatal burns. They were rushed to hospital where they succumbed to injuries. A number of students also received burns during the rescue operation. They said Rescue 1122 vehicles were first to reach the scene while the fire brigade arrived too late to save the lives of victims trapped in fire.
Rescue 1122 Media Coordinator Media Coordinator told The News that their response time to reach the doorstep was six minutes but the firefighters reached the scene two minutes later. “Unfortunately, the family and guests were emotionally charged and they picked up a fight with the rescue workers, which only wasted many precious minutes before the rescue operation could be launched,” Farooq Butt said.
The victims were identified as Ms Sana, 24, bride-to-be Ms Hifza, 20, Manahil, 25, Ms Naina, 22, and Ms Hina, 14. The dead and injured were shifted to the Holy Family Hospital. According to Rescue 1122 sources, Ms Sana was received dead while the rest of victims died after being shifted to the Holy Family Hospital.