Blaze destroys 100 homes in Pakistan

Written by by Tabassum Zakaria, CNN

More than 100 houses were engulfed in flames and several people were injured after a fire broke out in a Karachi slum on Thursday night.

The fire started around 11 p.m. in Doparai, and became a “brazen” inferno “consuming the shelter and local area of the people living in the area,” local police inspector Abid Farooqi told Pakistan’s Geo News.

Live satellite images from the scene show only a few minutes of steady black smoke in a neighborhood of mud and paper shacks.

The blaze, which started in a narrow alleyway of 100 or so people’s homes, entered the neighboring Dharavi slum and scorched at least 40% of the area, according to Farooqi.

As many as 100 homes were destroyed, according to Shabir-ud-Din Ahmed, the chief engineer of Sindh’s fire department.

“A team has already reached the site,” Ahmed told CNN. “Arrangements are being made for demolition of the remaining houses.”

According to Farooqi, this is the third time the area, close to the city’s posh Clifton district, has been hit by a fire, with the previous fires starting in 1986 and 1999.

Nine persons have been injured in the blaze, Farooqi said.

Pakistan, the world’s sixth-most populous country, suffers frequent natural disasters including floods, earthquakes and landslides. But the level of danger to human life is often debatable.

According to an estimate, as many as 40 million people live in slums in Pakistan, 20 million of them in Karachi.

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