A fire broke out on Tuesday at a garment factory in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, killing at least 289 people and injuring dozens, local media have reported.
Firemen deployed at the scene said the fire was so deadly because the building lacked clear escape routes. Many workers sustained severe injuries after jumping from the factory rooftop to escape the flames.
Mohammad Ilyas, a factory worker who was injured in the fire, said he suddenly saw a fireball coming from the staircase.
"I jumped from my seat as did others and rushed toward the windows, but iron bars on the windows barred us from escaping. Some of us quickly took tools and machines to break the iron bars," the Guardian quoted Ilyas as saying. "That was how we managed to jump out of the windows down to the ground floor."
Meanwhile, the owners of the factory attacked a team of reporters from Geo TV threatening them "with dire consequences" for covering the fire. According to reports, the Geo TV's cameras were also smashed.
The factory supervisor told local media that 1,200 workers were at work when the fire broke out on the second floor.
In the eastern city of Lahore 25 people were killed in a fire at a shoe factory on Tuesday. Some died from burns and others from suffocation, said senior police officer Multan Khan.