Fire at PNSC

While on my way to Hawk’s Bay this morning, excited about all the beach-y fun that was in store for me, we came across a dismal sight. One of the middle floors of PNSC (Pakistan National Shipping Corporation) was ablaze with a fire that looked like it was spreading fast. All of us en route to the beach, panicked and called 15 immediately who in turn scolded us for informing that an hour late! Hordes of people had gathered below the building and were staring up in awe, I’m not sure if anyone had tried to get help (I’m sure someone must have) but no firefighters or firetrucks were in sight.

8 hours later, on our way BACK from the beach, what we saw was not only shocking, it was frightening! The fire had spread to 5 to 6 floors and the whole building was ablaze in flames! Someone told me it is where Engro Food’s office is located and the whole place unfortunately burnt down.

No one is injured, thank God. They managed to pull people out in helicopters in time. No one has been able to determine the actual source of the fire but I hope they zero-in on the cause soon and try their best to avoid in the future.

29 Comments so far

  1. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 10:58 pm

    let me paste my comments that i earlier made …

    multistory building and administration is helpless to
    do some thing about the fire… all the snorkels in the city are out of order (they’re just good enough to be used in MQM election campaign to sprinkle rose petals at the MQM supporters) … we’re talking about building skyscrapers and we don’t have any adequate system to tackle small fire outbreaks at high altitude…. best they’re able to manage is Navy helpcopters using their rotors (wings) to create enough air pressure to put out the fire… instead that tactic could back fire and lead to fire spreading… may Allah help us…

  2. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

    Minister for port and shipping Baber Gauri’s office is among those which is gutted, besides Nespak and PNSC office…. i can already smell foul play coz initialy fire was under control and then it re erupted and engulfed the whole floors again… one of the most corrupt minister’s office gutted like that means no record left to unearth his corruption… just see how much excited Altaf is when he issues statement regarding this incident…

    structure of the building must have weakened coz of the blaze and i assume their must be a plan running down in the mind of minister to demolish this old structure and build a new multistory PNSC skyscraper …

  3. MB (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

    Completely agreeing to Doctor. I will just summarize what already has been said in detail here.

    Emergency & Disaster recovery was one of the main reason why we had opposed skyscrapers

    No one denies their importance but in our prevalent situation they will prove to be a nuisance.Such an important building didn’t have proper fire prevention arrangements, what to talk about the normal ones.

    And then there is an issue of earth quake. Does anyone remember Turkey earthquake ?. Why is it that Japan, which is a heaven for these disasters doesn’t have any issues with skyscrapers. Because they have planned,designed & managed it so. In our case even if plan & design good, our official lot has a poor record in managing things. So skyscrapers inside city means an invitation to disaster on different fronts. And management would become even more difficult if we have concentration. Thats why i propose expanding Karachi outwards, lessening the burden inside city, specially moving out business hubs or making new ones.

  4. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 18th, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

    plan to move out whole sale grain market , electronic market, timber market etc are on cards , i hope it all goes well…

  5. guyfromengro (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 1:16 am

    This was not an act of God; not a natural calamity, yet we stood there helpless. This was a human-created disaster, and in this case there is no one else to blame put our government. How could they allow 10+ story buildings when they dont have the basics to safeguard them. Fire burning for 16+ hours yet no equipment to extinguish it. I feel the karachi government should resign and be put on trial. Does anyone even care?

  6. Poo Poo head (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 2:17 am

    Bayl, can you dial 15 from cell phone ???

  7. Da-Man (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 3:03 am

    Babar Ghauri’s office got burnt too? He should have used the worlds tallest sewage fountain to quench the fire.

    Instead of wasting money on idiotic ventures he should have installed a sprinkler system in the building.

  8. muhammed (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 4:32 am
  9. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:04 am

    maybe installing installing a sprinkler system for his office wasn’t so lucrative option for Baber Gauri… he is just interest in large contracts and huge kickbacks….

  10. BoZz (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

    No emergency equipment or plans. And definitely no trained personal. Yet we wish to clap our hands and gleefully shout, Hamara Karachi and other such pompous slogans when we start huge projects that we do not understand let alone keep or maintain safely.

    This country should be re-named as it once was from being just being Pakistan to Islamic Republic (what a bloody joke) with Lawless-istan.

  11. BoZz (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

    To be read as ‘ No trained Personnel’

  12. Haseeb A (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

    Badmashi hay!! Fire means all record has burnt!! Salay hamasha yahi kerti hain…. lols. No record, no corruption :)

  13. Ahmad (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    “Baber Ghauri’s office has burnt”..that explains all …surprisingly seems to be consensus on this point on KMB till now..

  14. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

    there is a decent way to register your complain. Point your browser to:


    and express your concerns to Altaf and Mustafa Kamal and let them know that this is not the era of 90s when Karachiites used to get fooled by Altaf and Co.

  15. Poo Poo head (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

    BAYL or any one , can we dial “15” from cell phone in Pakistan ??

  16. bayl (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

    yes of course we can dial 15 from a cellphone.

  17. Poo Poo head (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

    Thanks Bayl. I was not sure of that. Do carriers charge for the call. If you do not have pre paid balance then could you still make a call ?

  18. Bayl (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

    Yes you do get charged and I don’t think you can make calls if you’re out of credit. Not too sure about that. I’m curious as to why you want to know….

  19. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 19th, 2007 @ 11:39 pm

    @PPH u ok?

  20. Omar R. Quraishi (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 12:12 am

    have told ayesha tammy haq (who does a show on business plus and on city 89) about this thread — she plans to visit the site and probably will mention it on her radio show tomorrow

  21. Bayl (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 12:16 am

    Thank you Mr. Qureishi. I feel the readers have a voice that needs to be heard and this matter should be looked up duly. We’ll get much deserved audience I hope.

  22. Poo Poo head (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 7:05 am

    Actually I was working for a company few years ago who was working for VoIP and we were not let our services started as we did not have 911 services at that time. So I was just curious about rules in Pakistan. Could you please confirm about dialing 15 when there is no money in account ? Thanks any how.

  23. Omar R Quraishi (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 8:47 am

    Yes I hope so as well — She told me she will make it a point to mention this blog

  24. MB (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 9:02 am


    What are the timings ?

  25. Omar R. Quraishi (unregistered) on February 20th, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

    At 6.15 — on Business Plus — the tv channel

  26. Saad Durrani (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 12:34 am

    Well I once tried calling the police from my cellphone and it doesn’t cost. It is a toll-free number. All mobile networks let you make free emergency calls.

  27. Omar R. Quraishi (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

    it costs
    who told you it doesnt?

  28. d0ct0r (unregistered) on February 21st, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

    cost or no cost isn’t an issue at all when there is an emergency at hand… solution for people who have no credit left could be to call service provider helpline(which is free for sure) and tell them your nature of trouble and if you need police or your nature of emergency and your location…

  29. Zil-e-Huma (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 8:44 am

    Can anyone tell me where is Kamran Shafi, the former columnist for The News?

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