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Ministry of Industries constitutes committee to probe Awami Markaz fire incident

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of the incident of fire erupted at Islamabad’s six-floored ‘Awami Markaz’ on Sunday morning, the Minister for Industries and Production has constituted an inquiry committee to find out the causes and fix responsibility for fire incident.

According to a notification issued by the ministry, a committee will probe the incident.

According to the ministry, the committee will be comprised of Capt( retd) Ajaz Ahmad, additional secretary of M/o Industries and Production; interior ministry’s joint secretary (Admin); Power Division Joint Secretary Mussadaq Ahmad Khan; a representative of the Federal Tax Ombudsman, a structural engineer to be nominated by NESPAK; IESCO chief electrical engineer, Ch Waseem of AKASA Company – representative of private tenant companies, and any other technical expert(s) the committee wishes to associate. The committee will be headed by the additional secretary of Industries and Production Ministry.

As per the terms of reference, the committee will identify the office where from the fire ignited and the cause(s) of fire incident including the possibility of mischief or sabotage; extent and degree of damage to the building and office record of the tenant organisations and loss of/ injuries to human life; effectiveness, role and responsibilities of IFC staff in pre and post fire scenarios; responsiveness and effectiveness of the Islamabad Fire Brigade /CDA authorities; and any other aspect the Committee may like to comment on.

The committee is expected to finalize and submit its findings and recommendations within three days.

Meanwhile, A spokesman of Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform has stated that a small unit of this ministry in Awami Markaz is completely safe in the fire incident.

He clarified that a unit of the ministry is located on 5th floor of the Awami Markaz to carry out research on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. However, the physical infrastructure remained safe in this unit as fire could not reach there, he added.

It is to inform that even research data of this unit is placed in digital format which is stored on cloud system.

The spokesman further clarified that no official record or files regarding CPEC are placed or stored in this unit. “All the record and data regarding CPEC is placed at Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform and line ministries” he added.

Earlier, at least two people were killed as a fire engulfed the Awami Markaz Software Technology Park, a building which houses the offices of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) as well as Federal Tax Ombudsman and others.

Initial reports stated that the fire erupted in the upper floors of the six-storey building, however, later officials said the fire began on the ground floor near an office of the Federal Tax Ombudsman.
Rescue officials said the two people who died did not need to jump from the building as a fire exit was available.

Source: news

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