Fifty people are reported to be injured and eleven dead after a fire blazed through the Regent Plaza Hotel, located in Karachi. According to police officer Tauqeer Naeem, the fire is believed to have started in the kitchen.
A number of cricket players were also staying in the four star hotel, one of which broke his ankle whilst trying to flee. TV footage shows hotel guests escaping the building using bedsheets tied together to make a rope. Among the injured are a number of foreigners being treated for burn wounds. The majority of those dead died from smoke inhalation.
The fire broke out in the early morning when guests were sleeping. Muhammed Saeed who was injured in the incident said “Four to five hours everybody was looking helpless, crying for help and nobody was there to help them.” A witness, Hamid Ali, told a local Pakistani TV channel that one man had been seen standing atop a balcony and waving for help.
The fire ravaged much of the first floor of the eight storey building and left the hotel charred and blackened. It is alleged that the hotel, which along with many Pakistani building did not adhere to safety requirements, lacked a fire extinguishing system and emergency exits.