Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday visited Faiz Muhammad village near Mahar Town in Dadu district, where nine people, including eight children, died in a fire incident on late Monday.
The village of about 120 homes was completely destroyed in the fire.
The chief minister met the victim families and expressed deep concern over the tragic incident.
According to a handout issued by Sindh Information Department, the chief minister was accompanied by provincial minister Sayed Nasir Hussain Shah, Advisor Fayaz Ali Butt, Nawab Wasan, MNA Rafique Jamali, MPA Kalsoom Chandio and other PPP leaders.
The chief minister announced a high-level inquiry into the tragedy so that those responsible could be identified. He also announced compensation money of Rs0.5 million each for victim families and assured them of support in their rehabilitation.
Murad Ali Shah said that he reached the village to assess the losses on the directives of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who had taken strong notice of the fire incident.
The villagers registered their strong protest before the chief minister and said that their houses, livestock and children were being burnt before their eyes but no fire tenders were available to douse the fire that continued to ravage their valuables for more than 12 hours.
Sources said that there was one fire station in Mahar Town but fire tender was unavailable.
According to locals, an acute shortage of water was the main reason that they were unable to douse flames on self-help basis. The fire had reportedly broken out in the kitchen of a hut.
The villagers said despite various calls to the authorities concerned, fire tenders did not reach the spot. They added that the Dadu DC and other officials reached the village after nearly 12 hours.
Later, the bodies and the injured were shifted to a local hospital for medico-legal formalities.
The deceased included six-year-old Fareeda, five-year-old Soona, five-year-old Sajan, four-year-old Mour, six-year-old Tehmina and eight-year-old Sakina.
Meanwhile, Hyderabad Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Peer Muhammad Shah has formed a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the tragedy. The DIG’s spokesman said a six-member JIT headed by Dadu SSP Irfan Samo would investigate the causes of the inferno, besides assessing the losses.
According to him, the JIT had been given eight days to complete the investigation.
DSP Bashir Ahmed Khunharo and SHOs Noor Mustafa Pathan, Ashfaq Ahmed Mangi, Akhtar Hussain Lashari and Zahid Hussain Khoso are other members of the JIT.