Most of the country’s buildings don’t meet safety standards to avoid such mishaps.
TV footage of the incident showed guests at the hotel using bedsheets to climb down from windows.
A man standing at a balcony kept waving for help but the hotel didn’t have any means to reach him, a survivor, Hamid Ali, told a local television channel. He said the guests were sleeping when the fire broke out.
‘Most people died due to suffocation’
Chief Fire Office Tehseen Siddiqui told DawnNews that although the blaze was not very intense and was contained “quite early”, the smoke kept circulating inside because the air conditioning system stayed on.
Siddiqui said there was no exhaust inside and due to this “most people suffocated to death”.
He further said that the hotel has now been evacuated completely.
UBL players among injured
Cricket players from the United Bank Limited (UBL) team were among those injured in the blaze.
The team, which was staying at the fourth floor of the hotel, woke up to the fire, said Nadeem Khan, head of the UBL Sports Department.
He said bowler Yasim Murtaza’s ankle was fractured as he jumped from the second floor to save his life and the player is now recovering at a hospital. Karamat Ali was also injured.
International cricketer Sohaib Maqsood was also staying at the hotel but remained safe in the fire, said Nadeem, adding that Maqsood also helped rescue people. He said the UBL Quaid-i-Azam trophy match against Habib Bank Limited would be postponed today.
Sixteen crew members of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) also sustained injuries in the fire, spokesman Danyal Gilani said. He said most of the crew members have been discharged from hospital while some are still undergoing treatmen
Three trucks from the fire brigade reached the site and started an operation to rescue the guests.