Sohaib Maqsood becomes hero, saves family during Regent Plaza fire escape


The pre-dawn fire that gutted Regent Plaza hotel left 12 dead and 70 others wounded including four first-class cricketers, who play for UBL.

A fire broke out at around 2:30am at the upscale hotel where the UBL team was staying for their match against HBL in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

As a result, Yasim Murtaza, Karamat Ali, Sohaib Maqsood and Gulraiz Sadaf all suffered injuries of varying degrees.

Sohaib Maqsood, who was on the fourth floor, helped save a family of four during his escape. “We woke up at 3:30am and tried to run outside but there was a lot of smoke out in the corridor and almost no oxygen, so we came back into the room, broke the glass and went down from there with the help of bed sheets. We also found a family with two kids and took them along with us,” he said.

Murtaza, who broke his ankle after jumping from his second-floor room, said he was woken up by the smell of something burning. “I woke up and switched on the light, and the room was full of smoke,” he said. We ran towards the door but the smoke was so thick we couldn’t see anything, so we came back into the room and broke the glass window with a chair and jumped down.”

Sadaf, in the same room as Murtaza, suffered several burns and deep cuts on his hands. “Murtaza jumped from the second floor to the first and then to the lobby area, while I used a rope to climb down, which ended up cutting and burning my skin,” he said.

There were other players on the fourth floor. “I ran towards the stairs but couldn’t see anything, so Adil Raza called me back and all of us jumped out the window. I cut my arms and feet as there were pieces of glass on the floor,” said Karamat Ali, who was sharing a room with Raza.

Meanwhile, the match between UBL and HBL was abandoned on the request of UBL team manager Nadeem Khan. The teams shared the points, which led to HBL qualifying for the final with 16 to their name.

The other finalist will be decided today, with the winner of the match between WAPDA and SSGC going through. SSGC were on 298-7 in their first innings in reply to WAPDA’s 353 at stumps on day three. With the match almost certainly heading towards a draw, the side that ends up with a first-innings lead will qualify for the final against HBL.

Read more: 11 killed, 75 injured as fire erupts in Karachi’s Regent Plaza hotel


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