Karachi: At least 23 people, including children have drowned at Karachi`s popular beaches while bathing in the sea during Eid celebrations in Pakistan.
Rescue teams have recovered at least 20 bodies from the rough seas in the last two days including 18 from the popular Clifton Seaview beach.
"We had imposed section 144 in the Seaview, Hawksbay and Sandspit beach areas but people don`t listen. Due to Eid holidays thousands of people showed up and it became impossible for the rescue personnel to manage things," Commissioner Karachi, Shoaib Siddiqui told.
Most of the people had drowned after being swept away by the high tides in the sea, he said.
"We had issued warnings that due to the particular season the tides were high and people should avoid going into the sea," Siddiqui added.
Many of those killed including children belonged to one family.
Twelve bodies were recovered from Clifton Seaview beach last night after which the rescue operation was suspended owing to insufficient light. Six more bodies were recovered after six am this morning.
Moreover, two bodies were recovered from Hawksbay today after the administration sought help of Pakistan Navy helicopters.
Siddiqui said rescue efforts were underway to recover three more missing bodies out of a total of 23 people who had drowned.
The beach areas in the city had been closed down with immediate effect after the tragedies, he said.
The beach areas in and around Karachi remain a popular picnic spot for thousands and due to pleasant weather conditions, the rush increases during holiday season.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain today expressed their deep grief and sorrow over the tragic incidents.
In separate messages, the President and the Prime Minister also conveyed their condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the departed souls.