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Pakistani cricketers at Karachi hotel hit by deadly blaze

A massive fire has swept through a four-star hotel in Karachi where members of Pakistan's cricket team were staying, killing at least 11 people.

More than 50 people, including foreign guests, suffered injuries in the early morning blaze, which started in the hotel kitchen, police officer Tauqeer Naeem said.

Several Pakistani cricketers were also staying at the hotel, and one of them broke his ankle when he jumped down, he said.

The exact cause of the fire was not yet known, he said, adding four of those killed were women.

Dr Semi Jamali at Karachi's Jinnah Hospital said some foreigners were among those being treated for burns. Suffocation caused more deaths, she said.

TV footage of the incident showed guests at the hotel using bedsheets to climb down from windows.

A man standing at a balcony kept waving for help but the hotel did not have any means to reach him, survivor Hamid Ali said.

He said the guests were sleeping when the fire broke out.

"Four to five hours, everybody was looking helpless, crying for help and nobody was there," said Muhammad Saeed, who was being treated at the hospital.

Most of Pakistan's buildings do not meet safety standards to avoid such disasters.

AP

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