Murder case registered against Pakistan fire factory owners

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Police in Karachi have registered a murder case against the owners of a garment factory where a fire killed at least 325 people in the country's worst ever industrial disaster, officers said on Thursday.

A case has been filed against Abdul Aziz, Mohammad Arshad and Shahid Bhaila and other members of the management of Ali Enterprises, Mohammad Nawaz Gondal, the head of the local police station, said.

"We have registered a murder case against the owners of the factory and several government officials for showing utter negligence to provide adequate security to the factory workers, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people," Gondal said.

A senior Karachi police officer, Naeem Akram, confirmed the move.

Police are hunting for the factory owners, who have not been seen since the blaze, which erupted late on Tuesday.

The government of Sindh province, of which Karachi is capital, has appointed a retired judge to lead an investigation into the fire, with initial findings expected in a week.

The probe will look into the cause of the fire, protection systems available inside the building and the extent of negligence on the owners' part, a provincial government statement said.

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