A German court Thursday threw out a lawsuit by Pakistani plaintiffs against clothing retailer KiK over a deadly 2012 fire at a Karachi garment factory, saying the statute of limitations had expired.

Dubbed as Pakistans 9/11, the blaze at the Ali Enterprises factory, or Baldia Factory Fire, had killed 258 people in one of Pakistans worst industrial disasters.

Several men are currently on trial in Pakistan for allegedly starting the blaze. They are suspected of being part of a criminal gang that was extorting the factory owners.

A survivor and three relatives of victims had sought damages for pain and suffering from KiK of 30,000 euros ($34,600) each.

They argued that, although KiK did not cause the fire, it shared blame for lack of safety measures at the factory.

But a spokesman for the regional court in Dortmund said judges agreed with a court-appointed experts finding that the civil suit was not filed within the applicable two-year period.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a Berlin-based rights group supporting the plaintiffs, said it was considering appealing the ruling.

KiK was the factorys main customer and therefore bears some of the responsibility for the inadequate fire safety measures, lawyer Remo Klinger, who represented the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

KiK, which has paid over $6.0 million in compensation to survivors and victims families, has rejected liability for the fatal fire.

KiK evades the legal responsibility for the death of 258 people, but at least a German court was willing to look into the case in the first place, said claimant Saeeda Khatoon, whose son died in the inferno.

A lack of emergency exits, fire extinguishers and clearly marked escape routes contributed to the fires heavy toll, according to experts cited by the ECCHR.

The fire, along with other fatal incidents at garment factories in low-wage Asian countries in recent years, has fuelled debate about the actual cost of cheap, so-called fast fashion.

KiK, a household name in Germany, boasts on its website that it can dress its customers from head to toe for less than 30 euros.

Agencies

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