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Mosque roof caves in after heavy rains in Lahore; 23 dead

10 September, 2014

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LAHORE: At least twenty-three worshipers were killed and several injured when the roof of a mosque near Daroghawala caved in on Tuesday.

About 10 to 15 worshipers were said to be trapped under the rubble until the filing of this report, and the death toll was likely to rise. The tragic incident occurred at a time when 30 to 35 worshipers were offering Zuhr prayer in Jamia Hanfia Mosque which is situated in the main Draoghawala Bazaar. The roof of the second floor of the mosque came down on the first floor, which consequently caved in on the worshipers below. On coming to know about the incident a number of locals, including women, reached the spot and started a rescue operation.

As the news of the incident spread hundreds of thousands people reached the congested area, which caused severe problems in the rescue operation. Rescuers, police, government officials, PML-N leaders, political workers and a number of citizens from different areas of the city participated in the rescue operation.

The rescuers faced immense difficulty moving in heavy machinery as the area is congested. According to the spokesperson of the Rescue 1122, the rescue teams saved the prayer leader of the mosque.

He said that cries for help could be heard from inside the debris of the mosque and that heavy machinery failed to reach the site because of narrow streets. Those trapped were being evacuated with the help of roof cutters.

The spokesman confirmed that around thirteen dead bodies had been pulled out from the rubble while at least eight injured people were shifted to different hospitals of the city. Around 15 to 20 injured or dead people were still trapped under the debris. He said that the houses around the mosque were evacuated and gas and electricity connections were disconnected as a precautionary measure.

Immediately after visiting the flood-hit areas Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif reached Daroghawala and inspected the site of the accident.

End.

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