A fire in Islamabad’s Centaurus Mall on Sunday was brought under control after two hours, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) confirmed.
CDA Chairman and Islamabad Chief Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Usman Younis said the fire brigade, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force and Rescue 1122 took part in the firefighting operation.
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner (DC) Irfan Nawaz Memon said the mall and its allied residential towers were now being sealed till a technical team reported on their structural capability after the fire.
He thanked the relevant institutions which had helped in bringing the fire under control.
The city police chief, senior police officers, administration officials and rescue teams were present at the scene.
The police also said that a helicopter was being called up as well to aid in the rescue and firefighting operation.
They added that the fire inside the mall was “under control” and no shop was damaged albeit there were still some flames on the mall’s exterior which were being extinguished.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also took notice of the incident and ordered the Islamabad administration and fire brigade to use all resources at their disposal to control the fire.
“The facility of helicopter from the relevant departments should also be used to extinguish the fire,” he ordered, further directing that the reasons for the fire should be examined so those responsible could be determined.
The interior minister instructed that a detailed report of the fire should be submitted to the Ministry of Interior.
Inquiry committee formed
Later in the day, a press release from the Islamabad district administration said an inquiry committee was formed to investigate the cause of the fire, whether fire fighting equipment and alarms were working in the building or not and what actions were taken by the management.
It added that DC Memon also issued instructions for other big buildings in the city to be checked for availability of firefighting equipment, failing which action should be taken against them.
A notification from the office of the Islamabad Capital City district magistrate said the factfinding committee was constituted with the additional district magistrate as the convener and the I-Area assistant commissioner, Rawalpindi district emergency officer, CDA directors for Building Control Section and Electrical and Mechanical Section (E&M) and the CDA additional director for E&M section.
The notification said the committee would furnish a report in three days on:
- The cause of the fire and factors for its spread
- Whether the building’s fire safety equipment and fire safety alarm system were operational
- Whether any mock exercise was conducted by the management in the recent past
- The extent of the damage
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