KARACHI: DIG Police South pointed out the poisonous fumigation as the cause of death of six people including five children at the government’s Qasr-e-Naz rest house in Karachi, reported on Wednesday.
DIG South Sharjeel Kharal in a media briefing on police investigation of the case said that the ill-fated family left Quetta on Feb 21 and reached Karachi 9:30 in night. They took a meal in Khuzdar during their travel.
In Qasr-e-Naz they brought food from outside eateries. Faisal, the head of family,found his wife ailing at 2:00 AM in night and shifted her to hospital, the DIG said in briefing.
In the morning, he was informed that the children of the family were also ailing and they were too shifted to the hospital. The doctors told the police that three children had already died when they brought to the hospital, while two others died while being treated at the medical facility.
The sister of Faisal also died the next day.
The police sealed Room 58-A of Qasr-e-Naz, Naubahar Restaurant and Student Biryani after the incident.
The samples collected during the investigation, were sent to the labs of Hussain Ibrahim Jamal Institute, CSU, food authority and SGS for examination, the DIG said. The investigators had gathered 20 samples from Naubahar and seven samples from Student Biryani.
After postmortem of the deceased, their samples were sent to Punjab Lab for examination.
The investigators found traces of Aluminium Phosphate, a poisonous chemical, from Qasr-e-Naz, the police officer said.
It was emerged in the investigation that Aluminium Phosphate could not be used for fumigation at the residential houses.
The administration of the government guest house didn’t have a proper fumigation system for the place.
The chemical at the floor of the room was inhaled by the victims during their stay. The chemical powder also found during inspection of the rest house premises.
The police have arrested nine accused including chief engineer Nadeem Akhtar, DIG South said.
Further investigation of the incident was in progress, while the police has got 14 days’ physical remand of the accused.
Earlier, a fact-finding committee probing the Qasr-e-Naz tragedy had revealed in its report that the six members of the family from Balochistan had died of poisonous fumigation in the room where the ill-fated family stayed.
The report held Pakistan Public Works Department (Pak PWD) responsible for the government-owned Qasr-e-Naz guesthouse tragedy and cited that the company’s engineers did not take safety measures while fumigating at the Qasr-e-Naz.
It was mentioned in the report that the guesthouse had been fumigated when the family came from Balochistan to stay there.
The children died of a poisonous chemical, Aluminium Phosphate, which was bought without any tender, reads the report whereas Pak PWD was responsible for the fumigation process at the guesthouse.
According to the latest findings, five siblings – two sisters and three brothers – and their aunt died owing to fumigation in the state guest room where they had stayed after their arrival from Quetta.
The report said PWD engineers and other relevant officials didn’t take precautionary measures with regard to fumigation. Moreover, the chemical was purchased without following due legal process as neither a tender was invited nor approval from the department was sought.