ISLAMABAD: Fire erupted on the third floor of the Centaurus Mall in Islamabad on Sunday and is rapidly spreading across other floors, including the residential apartments located on the upper section of the building.
According to the reports, no casualties have been reported thus far as the fire brigade rushed to the site of the incident to contain the flames.
Footage on social media showed plumes of smoke billowing from the building, while in other clips people can be seen trying to escape using the mall’s escalators.
The fire broke out at the Monal restaurant sources revealed, adding that the entire food court has now been engulfed in flames.
The evacuation process is currently underway and a large number of people have already been moved out of the building as glass around the ceilings as well as other items have started falling down due to the intense heat.
The capital police said that a search operation was currently underway in the mall.
The city police chief, senior police officers, administration officials and rescue teams were present at the scene.
The police also said that a helicopter was being called up as well to aid in the rescue and firefighting operation.
They added that the fire inside the mall was “under control” and no shop was damaged albeit there were still some flames on the mall’s exterior which were being extinguished.
The Capital Development Authority said that its chairman and Islamabad’s chief commissioner, retired Capt Mohammad Usman Younis, was also present at the site and monitoring rescue and firefighting operations.
“All resources are being utilised to control the fire as early as possible,” the CDA added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and said he had ordered relevant institutions and authorities to take immediate action.
“It is very unfortunate that this incident happened in this well-known business centre. I pray that there is no loss of life. Condolences and sympathies for the financial losses of the victims,” he tweeted.