Poor electrical wiring caused fire in Regent Plaza | Pakistan Today

Poor electrical wiring caused fire in Regent Plaza

  • Third party audit declares Regent Plaza and Movenpick electrical installation as dangerous
  • Musharraf banned inspection of electric installation in 2003, a criminal offence

An investigation into the fire in Karachi’s Regent Plaza, a four star hotel, has revealed that 3rd party electrical safety auditor last year, after inspection, declared electrical system of Regent Plaza and Moenpick as ‘dangerous,’ Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.

It was revealed that 3rd party electrical safety auditor performed two tests: infrared thermography and visual inspection. Infrared thermography of Regent Plaza and Movenpick has exposed excess heat in the electrical system of both hotels while visual inspection reported issues of bad cables health, meggering, leakage, overloading, loose connections and hanging wires.

The administration of both hotels was directed to act in accordance with the Electricity Act, PSQCA Act and NFPA, IEEE, and BS standards to address the highlighted electrical complexities.

It may be pertinent to mention here that at least 12 people were killed and 75 others injured when a huge fire broke out in the kitchen of Regent Plaza hotel located at its ground floor on early Monday.

Talking to Pakistan Today Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Power Advisor, Electrical Inspector and Electrical Auditor Engr Wali Muhammad Rahimoon claimed he had informed Regent Plaza and Movenpick administration that major non-compliances are in violation of Electricity Act and rules of Pakistan after he had identified problems in electrical system in 3rd party audit.

“I had informed Regent Plaza owner Muzafar Bajwa and Chief Engineer Aijaz that the electrical installations of the hotels are very dangerous, Engr Rahimoon claimed, maintaining, “I also told Movenpick’s CEO Sikandar that the electrical installation of his hotel was found dangerous in test.”

Why more fires in Punjab and Sindh only?

It has been disclosed that a ban has been imposed on inspection of electrical installation of Punjab and Sindh since August 2003. The then president General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf via a letter, available with Pakistan Today, had banned inspection of electrical installation of industries and buildings in Punjab and Sindh. Ban on electrical inspection is criminal offence and inspection of electrical installations is held necessary under Rule-5 of the Electricity Rules, 1937 framed under Electricity Act 1910, NEPRA Act 1997, NFPA and PSQCA.

When approached for confirmation, Movenpick Hotels and Resorts Marketing and PR Manager Amara Ashraf claimed that she had no information about any electrical inspection conducted during 2015, as according to her, she had joined the company in 2016. I have no idea what happened before my joining, and because of this fact, I can’t comment on any happening in the company prior to my joining.

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