Courtesy: Dawn News
Video: Twitter/Samaa TV
A fire has broken out in Islamabad’s Centaurus Mall on Sunday, and people inside the mall were safely evacuated, the capital’s police confirmed.
The capital police said that a search operation was currently under way in the mall.
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.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Navy said that the institution was also helping in the firefighting effort, adding that a navy team and three fire tenders were in use.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and said he had ordered relevant institutions and authorities to take immediate action.
“It is very unfortunate that this incident happened in this well-known business centre. I pray that there is no loss of life. Condolences and sympathies for the financial losses of the victims,” he tweeted.
The Capital Development Authority said that its chairman and Islamabad’s chief commissioner, retired Capt Mohammad Usman Younis, was also present at the site and monitoring rescue and firefighting operations.
“All resources are being utilised to control the fire as early as possible,” the CDA added.
DawnNewsTV reported that residential apartments in the building were evacuated and fire brigade staff were busy in putting out the fire even as plumes of smoke rose from the building.
Footage broadcast on television showed plumes of smoke billowing from the building, while in other clips people can be seen trying to escape using the mall’s escalators.
Social media footage shared by people showed the building ablaze. Dawn.com has not been able to independently verify the footage.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness.