24 killed after mosque collapses in Pakistan

2014-09-10 08:01
Pakistani rescue workers and residents search for the bodies of worshippers in the rubble of a collapsed mosque in Lahore. (STR, AFP)

Pakistani rescue workers and residents search for the bodies of worshippers in the rubble of a collapsed mosque in Lahore. (STR, AFP)

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Lahore - The death toll from a mosque collapse in eastern Pakistan has risen to 24, rescuers said on Wednesday, after pulling more bodies from the rubble.

The worshippers were killed when the roof of the mosque collapsed in Lahore on Tuesday as around three dozen people gathered for afternoon prayers.

The incident took place in Daroghawala, a low-income neighbourhood of the city with narrow and congested streets.

"The death toll from the incident is now 24. The ages of the worshippers who died are between 15 to 35 years", Mohammed Rashid, an official at the rescue control room, told AFP.

"We have also taken out seven seriously injured people from the rubble", he said.

District administration chief Mohammed Usman told media the dead and injured were recovered during 13 hours of searching.

He said the rescue operation would continue until all the rubble was removed.

"According to locals' claims it seems almost all people have been recovered but we will continue our efforts till the removal of the whole debris or any doubts [about people still trapped under the rubble]", Usman said.

Pakistan has a poor safety record in the construction and maintenance of buildings.

Many of the more than 200 killed in floods across Pakistan this month have been victims of collapsed roofs.

At least 21 people including 16 women and four children died when a factory collapsed in Lahore in 2012.

The collapse of the Margalla Towers apartment block in Islamabad in a 2005 earthquake killed 78 people, with shoddy construction blamed.

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