At least six persons, including a child and a woman, were killed when a massive fire broke out in a commercial plaza in this eastern Pakistani city today, officials said.

The incident occurred in Awan-e-Mashriq plaza at the historic Lakshmi Chowk in the old quarters of Lahore early this morning.

The blaze, which initial investigations showed was triggered by an electrical short circuit, soon engulfed two adjacent buildings.

Workers of the state-run Rescue 1122 service brought out over 50 people trapped in the buildings, said spokesman Jam Sajjad.

“We shifted 18 injured to Mayo Hospital. Of them, six persons, including a child and a woman, succumbed to their injuries,” Mr. Sajjad said.

He described the condition of four persons as critical.

Fire fighters took over four hours to extinguish the blaze.

People living in flats in Awan-e-Mashriq plaza climbed down the side of the building to save their lives.

In September last year, over 300 people were killed when fire broke out in two factories in Lahore and Karachi.

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