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3 killed at massive fire in Pakistan's largest southern city of Karachi, officials say


KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — A massive fire broke out Wednesday at a multi-story commercial building in Pakistan’s largest southern port city of Karachi, killing at least three people and damaging several shops, police and rescue officials said.

The fire started at a furniture store and quickly engulfed other shops on the ground floor of the building known as Ayesha Manzil, said Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab. He said firefighters doused the flames after hectic efforts.

Wahab and hospital officials said three people died in the blaze and one person was injured.

TV footage showed billowing into the sky as flames engulfed parts of the building.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear and officers said they were still investigating.

Most structures in Karachi, and other parts of the country, lack fire prevention and firefighting systems, which often results in damages and casualties.

Karachi is the capital of southern Sindh province, where such incidents are common.

Wednesday's blaze came less than two weeks after a fire tore through a shopping mall in Karachi, killing 11 people. In the deadliest such incident, 260 people were killed after being trapped inside a garment factory when a fire broke out in the city in 2012.