At least 36 people drown in Pakistan's Karachi-UPDATED

Thousands flocked to beaches to celebrate Eid al-Fitr despite meteorological warnings.

At least 36 people drown in Pakistan's Karachi-UPDATED

World Bulletin / News Desk

The death toll from a series of drownings at a beach resort in Karachi which came after rough seas struck holidaymakers over a three-day period has risen to 36, local officials have said.

Rescue workers and Pakistan Navy divers continued recovering bodies on Friday as Pakistan mourned the tragedy which began on Wednesday - the second day of Eid-al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan fasting.

People began drowning after going swimming in rough tides on the eve of monsoon season and being snatched by waves as they paddled in the seas.

Thousands of people had thronged the Karachi beach and entered the sea - despite warnings from the Meteorological Office about the dangerous conditions.

Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Siddiqi said the search for more bodies was continuing and the death toll was feared to rise as an undisclosed number of picnickers remained missing.

Qazi Mustafa Jamal, a senior city official admitted that the number of police officers and lifeguards deployed at the beach had been "insufficient" to cope with the large numbers that arrived to beat the hot weather and celebrate the Eid festivities on the shore.

"The infrastructure and the number of lifeguards required for a proper beach are missing", he said.

The officers and lifeguards had tried to prevent picnickers from swimming in the rough sea, but were overwhelmed by the high numbers of visitors, he added.

Most of the deceased were youths who ignored warnings from the guards and police to stay out of the treacherous waters, Siddiqi said.

A total of 18 bodies were recovered on Wednesday and nine more were found the next day.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Ağustos 2014, 15:00
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