KARACHI: A powerful gas explosion Saturday ripped through the building of a private bank situated on a nullah in Sher Shah Paracha Chowk in SITE area of Karachi in which at least 14 people were killed and 13 others injured. Moments later, another blast occurred in a gas pipeline at the same place injuring a rescue official.
According to Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, the death toll of the blast victims has reached 14.
The Karachi police spokesperson said that according to the preliminary report, it seemed that the explosion was caused by gas accumulated in the nullah on which the bank was erected. The police feared that many people might be buried under the debris. A team of Sui Southern Gas has been dispatched to the place.
Earlier, the rescue teams reached the place of the blast and started rescue activities.
They shifted the dead bodies and injured to a nearby hospital.
The rescue officials informed that as many as 14 people were killed and 13 others got injured in the powerful explosion that has reduced the Habib Bank building into rubble. The adjacent buildings and parked vehicles were also damaged as a result of the blast.
The condition of four injured persons was stated to be critical.
Six of the dead were identified as: Maratab Khan, Munawwar Khan, Zeeshan Hassan, Muhammad Yousuf, Inam Ullah, and Shafi Ullah.
Those who sustained injuries included: Ghulam Mustafa, Muhammad Arshad, Ghulam Akbar, Jamil Ahmad, Abdul Ghafar, Hammad, Riaz Mehmood, Kashmir Khan, Suba Khan, Abdul Wahab and one unknown person.
The rescue officials said that the explosion took place inside the bank’s building.
Following the blast, the Rangers and Counter-Terrorism Department personnel were rushed to the area. The bomb disposal squad started collecting evidence from the venue.
The Sindh Rangers spokesperson said they were trying to determine the nature of the blast.
The law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area.
The director of Civil Hospital, Trauma Centre, said mostly the faces of the injured who were being brought to the facility were badly burnt.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Governor Imran Ismail took notice of the blast and expressed their utter grief and concern over the tragedy.
CM Shah asked the concerned officials to reach the site of explosion and monitor the rescue activities. He asked the authorities to immediately forward him report about the blast.
KMC Administrator Murtaza Wahab while expressing his grief over the tragedy directed the health authorities to provide medical facilities to the injured.