Karachi hotel fire

Karachi hotel fire

A devastating fire caused multiple fatalities and injuries amongst hotel guests in a Karachi hotel on 5th December 2016. Apparently the fire started in the hotel kitchen early in the morning.

Several claims and counter claims circulate about how this tragedy unfolded.

From media sources we understand that apparently there were no fire exits, nor was the fire alarm or were smoke detectors working. However, this claim was denied by the hotel owners who pointed out that hotel staff helped to evacuate 500 guests via emergency exits. One staff member was killed during the guest rescue attempt.

Seemingly it took the fire department 1 hour to reach the hotel as the entrance was blocked probably for security reasons. The duty manager waited at the entrance of the hotel for the arrival of the fire services. It took several hours to get the fire under control. The fire department claimed that they did not receive any support from hotel management and that many parts of the building were dark.

The source of the fire in the kitchen area was unknown. Buildings often don’t meet safety standards to eliminate or reduce fire hazards. Faulty wiring or electrical short circuits are often the cause of fires.

Most of the fatalities happened in the upper floors of the hotel. The deaths were caused by suffocation. The smoke was distributed by the air conditioning system which could not be shut off by hotel staff.

An investigation has been launched to identify the truth behind this tragedy.

How safe are hotels? What must hotels do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again? How important is fire safety training for management and staff? What can we learn from this sad event?

We recently conducted fire safety training in five hotels for heads of department and management. Please see our next news blog or contact us regarding fire safety measures.

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