The owners and manager of the chemical factory in Karachi’s Korangi have filed bail petitions in the Sindh High Court.
The suspects, identified as owner Hassan Ali, manager Imran Zaidi, and guard Syed Zareen, were arrested on charges of negligence. Last month, 17 labourers were killed in a fire that erupted at the factory in Mehran Town. A case was registered against the men under sections of murder.
At a hearing on Friday, Ali’s lawyer told the court that his clients were arrested without evidence or investigation. “Putting them behind the bars is unlawful,” he said.
The court has instructed the state prosecutor to present his arguments at the next hearing and adjourned the case till September 20. The suspects have, on the other hand, been sent to jail till September 18 on judicial remand.
The lawyer of another man accused in the case, Faisal Tariq, has, on the other hand, withdrawn the bail application.
The blaze was reported at 10:08 am on August 27. There were no emergency exits doors and it took nine hours to extinguish the fire. The workers died by suffocation due to a lack of arrangements.
The blaze started on the first floor. Fireteams used snorkels and cranes to rescue workers from the second floor of the factory. The door to the roof of the factory was shut which led to high fatalities.
Consequently, the Sindh government announced Rs1 million for grieving families.
On August 30, a petition seeking judicial proceedings against the factory owners was filed in the Sindh High Court.
On September 8, the court ruled that the factory was built on a residential plot. It didn’t have any precautionary measures for fire incidents, nor did it have any fire exits or equipment such as extinguishers.