Karachi mosque collapse, death toll rises to six

KARACHI: A collapsed metal awning killed at least six people after Friday prayers at a mosque in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, police said.

A temporary sun shade fell on the courtyard area of the Usman mosque in central Karachi following prayers, said police official Zulfiqar Haider.

“I was in the mosque myself … people were offering a prayers following the conclusion of the (main) Friday prayer when we heard a loud crash following a gust of wind,” he said.

The corrugated metal awning fell directly on worshipers, he said.

Injured were then taken to a near by hospital where one of the injured later succumbed to death.

Friday midday prayers hold special significance in Islam, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, which began this week.

Temperatures in Karachi often hit maximums of near 40 degrees Celsius in the summer, and the awning had been erected to shield worshipers from the sun.

Karachi, a sprawling metropolis of more than 20 million people, is one of the world’s largest urban areas, but construction codes are often ignored.

It is a problem that is common across Pakistan. In November, 44 people were killed when a multi-storey factory collapsed in the eastern city of Lahore.-Reuters