KARACHI: At least 14 people including the father of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Alamgir Khan lost their lives while 13 others sustained injuries in the gas explosion that ripped through the building of a private bank situated on a nullah in Sher Shah Paracha Chowk in SITE area of Karachi, police said Saturday.
Karachi Police spokesperson confirmed that the explosion took place in a gas pipeline, damaging the building of a private bank and several cars parked there.
Moments later, another blast occurred in a gas pipeline at the same place injuring a rescue official.
Personnel of rescue services and law enforcement agencies have reached the spot, police said, adding that the injured have been shifted to Karachi’s Trauma Centre. The blast occurred at 1:50pm, police and eyewitnesses said.
The area has been cordoned off by Rangers and police personnel while the rescue operation is underway.
Eyewitnesses on the spot claim that there are many people who are buried underneath the debris of the building. Heavy machinery has been called to remove the debris and rescue any persons trapped there.
PTI Karachi President Khurram Sher Zaman said the father of Alamgir Khan was among those killed in the incident.
According to Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, the death toll of the blast victims has reached 14.
Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Hospital Trauma Centre chief Dr Sabir Memon confirmed the death toll, saying 11 injured are being treated at the health facility, all of them in critical condition. He said that they received eight bodies from the Shershah incident while six injured succumbed to the injuries during treatment.
Most of the people brought in to the hospital have injuries in the upper halves of their bodies, hospital officials said.
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.
Meanwhile, the BDS team stated in its report that the accumulated gas in the sewerage line beneath the two-storey building caused a powerful explosion. The two-storey building was reportedly constructed on a sewerage line that caved in after a powerful explosion today.
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.
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.
The Chief Minister directed the Karachi commissioner to launch investigation into the incident and sought report as soon as possible. He has also expressed regret on the deaths and ordered to facilitate the affectees at hospitals.
The chief minister directed the health secretary to provide necessary facilities to the affected persons who are admitted to the Civil Hospital. He also ordered the administration to reach the locality and hospitals for providing maximum assistance to the affectees.
Meanwhile, Punjab CM Sardar Usman Buzdar has also extended condolences to the bereaved families and said that we are standing with the victims in this difficult time. He further prayed for early recovery of the injured people.
KMC Administrator Murtaza Wahab while expressing his grief over the tragedy directed the health authorities to provide medical facilities to the injured.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Khurram Sher Zaman lamented the loss of human lives in the blast and confirmed that the father of PTI National Assembly member Alamgir Khan was also among those killed in the blast.
Meanwhile, Member Provincial Assembly and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Raja Azhar has said that Alamgir Khan’s father had a showroom in Sher Shah Market. TF Report