KARACHI: Pakistan cricketer Sohaib Maqsood found himself trapped in his bedroom along with his teammates when a fire broke out in Regent Plaza hotel here on Monday.
Describing his traumatic experience, Maqsood says for a second he thought that they won’t survive.
“We were on the fourth floor of the building and were woken up at around 3am when heard shouts across the corridor. We wanted to leave our rooms immediately and tried to rush towards exit on the ground floor but the thick smoke made it almost impossible to breathe,” he says.
Two players, Yasim Murtaza and Gulraiz Sadaf, from Maqsood’s first-class team suffered injuries. Murtaza fractured his foot as he attempted to jump from the hotel’s second floor, whereas Gulraiz got his hand injured while breaking his room’s window glass.
“Yasim and Gulraiz were on the second floor where there was heavy fire and they had to jump out for their lives. We were on the fourth floor, where there wasn’t any fire but lack of oxygen so we had time to wait for fire fighters.”
The 29-year-old Maqsood says they had to battle the smoke for three hours before they were eventually rescued.
“When we couldn’t find our way to reach the exit on the ground floor, we thought it best to stay inside our rooms and wait for fire fighters to arrive. We just thought if it becomes impossible to breathe inside the room then we will jump,” he says.
Maqsood, who hails from legendary cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq’s home town Multan, says they tried to help as many families as they could on their way out.
“There was a family who had two little girls with them. We couldn’t leave them there so took them along. We thought may be by helping them the Almighty helps us survive too.”