KARACHI: At least five people died and 20 others were injured after an explosion in a multi-storey residential building near Maskan Chowrangi in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area on Wednesday.
According to rescue officials, all injured and deceased people were taken to Patel hospital.
Television footage from the scene of the explosion showed the building had partially collapsed, rubble and debris scattered on the road as rescue officials attempted to reach those inside. Eyewitnesses reported that windows of nearby buildings as well as some vehicles were also damaged.
While the nature of the explosion has yet to be determined, police said that it appears to be a gas explosion because of a strong smell of natural gas in the immediate aftermath of the blast.
A preliminary report issued by the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) said that the explosion was caused by gas leakage, adding that no explosive materials had been found to suggest any kind of terrorist activity.
Law enforcement agencies and rescue officials reached the site and cordoned off the neighbourhood.
Speaking to the reporters, Karachi Administrator Iftikhar Shallwani said that the building would be demolished as the extent of the damages ensures it cannot be repaired.
He said that surrounding buildings would also be surveyed to determine whether the explosion had caused any damages to their structure. According to him, officials from the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) were present at the scene.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the incident and directed the Karachi commissioner to submit a detailed report in this regard.
* وزیراعلیٰ سندھ مراد علی شاہ کا مسکن چورنگی دھماکے کا نوٹس
* وزیراعلیٰ سندھ مراد علی شاہ نے کمشنر کراچی سے واقع کی تفصیلی رپورٹ طلب کرلی
* وزیراعلیٰ سندھ کی زخمیوں کے لئے فوری طبی امداد کا بندوبست کرنے کی ہدایت
* وزیراعلیٰ سندھ نے جانی نقصان پر گہرے دکھ کا اظہار کیا
— CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) October 21, 2020
He also directed authorities to ensure medical treatment for the injured in the incident and expressed grief over the deaths reported.
Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Mahar took notice of the incident and directed officials concerned to submit a report on the details of the incident.
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed grief over the lives lost in the incident.
پی پی پی چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کراچی میں دھماکے کے نتیجے میں قیمتی جانوں کے ضیاع پر افسوس کا اظہار
بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے دھماکے کی نوعیت اور صورتحال کے متعلق تفصیلات لیں@BBhuttoZardari
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) October 21, 2020
According to a statement issued by the party, he also sought detailed information on the nature of the blast and the extent of the damages caused by it.