38 die in Karachi slum fire (Lead)

January 9th, 2009 - 1:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 9 (IANS) At least 38 people, including children and women, were burnt to death as fire engulfed a slum area in this Pakistani city, rescue and city administration officials said.A rescue worker of Edhi Welfare Foundation said that 38 bodies have been recovered from the huts made of bamboos and sticks and feared that there could be more bodies.

He said that almost 50 injured were admitted to various hospitals here.

He said that apparently the fire started late Thursday night from a hut where food was being cooked. According to him most of the residents were asleep and could not be rescued.

An earlier report had put the death toll at 40.

Rescue workers said that slum area was covered from three sides while the only way out caught fire, making it hard for people to escape.

Officials of the city administration said that the fire spread quickly and engulfed most of the area before fire fighters could reach.

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