Victims belonged to same family; Chief Minister seeks report
At least 12 members of a family, including three teenagers, drowned at Karachi’s Hawksbay beach on Saturday evening after they were swept away by strong waves, police officials said.
The incident occurred when the family was picnicking at the popular beach despite the ban on swimming imposed by the provincial government’s Home Department during the monsoon season due to rough waters.
Sharing details of the incident, police officials informed that the tragedy occurred when one child got stuck in a ‘whirlpool’ while the others also drowned trying to save the child.
According to Chief Fire Officer Tehseen Siddiqui the deceased belonged to the same family and were residents of Shadman Town in North Nazimabad. All the bodies have been recovered and the rescue operation has been completed.
MLO Civil Hospital Dr. Arif confirmed that 10 bodies had been brought to the hospital. He said the victims were identified as Wahaj (28), son of Shahzad; Umair (30), son of Jameel; Ali (25), son of Noor Ali; Saud (50), son of Shoaib Ahmed; Filza (17), daughter of Saud; Ebad (15), son of Saud; Atif (30), son of Naseem Ahmed; Taha (20), son of Minhaj; Ali (26), son of Zameer and Hamza (12), son of Jameel.
Following the incident, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah took notice of it and summoned a report over the matter. He chided the responsible authorities over their lack of action and asked “Has section 144 been imposed already?”
He also inquired if the signboards regarding the restriction were even placed at the site. He directed the interior secretary to submit him a detailed report regarding the incident.
Picnicking at the popular beach turned into tragedy for the unfortunate families as they tried to bathe in the open sea despite being advised against it by the authorities.
A ban on swimming at beaches has been imposed by the provincial government during the monsoon season due to rough waters.
Meanwhile, Mauripur police’s post-incharge for Hawksbay beach Fida Shah said that the deceased included one woman. Shah said, apparently 12 members of the same family belonging to Nazimabad had arrived to enjoy at the beach when strong waves took them away. Police officials have repeatedly complained that a large number of people head to the beaches on public holidays, making it impossible for them to cope with the situation with their limited resources.
Eye-witnesses said three of the picnickers were caught up in the waves and several people jumped in to rescue them but got caught themselves and drowned. Sources said that the victims had ignored the repeated warnings of the life guards deployed at the beach.