The first group of people to enter the premises of the collapsed Aftab Mansion was not a rescue team or police.
According to locals, a group of thieves took advantage of the chaos that ensued after the collapse to steal valuables. Witnesses said that at least four thieves entered the rubble on the pretext of rescuing people.
“We saw some unknown people trying to rummage through the debris. We initially thought that they were trying to find survivors,” said Saif Qureishi, 29, a local who played a critical role in the rescue operations.
“However, we noticed that they had come with gunny bags and were hurriedly filling them with whatever they could find,” said Qureishi.
Locals caught hold of the thieves, said a teenager Ballo.
“We beat up these thieves. However, we had to rescue stuck people. Hence, we couldn’t wait for the police to come to lodge cases against them.”