At least 12 killed in gas blast in Pakistan's Karachi
At least 12 people died and several others were injured due to a blast in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Saturday, local police said according to reports. The explosion reportedly occurred in a drain beneath a private bank near Paracha Chowk in the city's Shershah area. The injured are undergoing treatment and an investigation has been launched.
What caused the blast?
Station House Officer (SHO) Zafar Ali Shah said the bank had been served a notice to vacate the premises so the drain could be cleaned up, Dawn reported. The bank building, a nearby petrol pump, and parked vehicles were damaged. A bomb disposal squad was called in to probe the incident, which said that gas leakage from the drain led to Saturday's blast.
13 people undergoing treatment
Provincial police said 12 people had been confirmed dead and 13 were being treated for injuries, according to news agency Agence France-Presse. Footage from the area showed windows and doors of the bank building blown out. Reports said several people were trapped under the debris. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill condoled the deaths in a post on Twitter.
Another blast occurred during rescue ops
Reportedly, a second blast took place when some electric wires collided with the gas line during the search and rescue operations. No casualties were reported in that incident.
Sindh CM orders inquiry
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the Karachi police to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report, according to Geo News. Meanwhile, the province's Information Minister Saeed Ghani stated the bank building's construction was illegal. "SITE Association is responsible for the incident as it constructed the affected building (on a drain) and gave it on rent," he told reporters.