Gas explosion at Pakistani bank site kills several

Pakistani security officials inspect the scene of the explosion in Karachi, Pakistan on Saturday. Photo by Rehan Khan / EPA-EFE

December 18 (UPI) – A gas explosion at a bank in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Saturday left several people dead and injured, officials said.

The explosion was caused by a build-up of gas in the sewer line located under a private bank near Paracha Chowk in the Shershah region of Karachi, according to initial reports from authorities.

The exact number of people killed and injured in the blast varied in early reports. A Karachi police spokesperson told Pakistani newspaper Dawn that at least 11 people died and 13 others were injured, while the Express Tribune reported that at least 14 people were killed and 12 were injured. been injured.

Karachi Police spokesman Zafar Ali Shah told Dawn that the private bank had received notice to release the premises so the drain could be cleaned.

Shah added that the bank building and the nearby gas pump were damaged by the explosion.

The police spokesperson also said there was no evidence of terrorism.

Among the dead was the father of National Assembly Member Alamgir Khan Dilawar Khan, according to a tweet by Shahbaz Gil, Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Murad Ali Shah, chief minister of Pakistan’s Sindh province, ordered a detailed investigation and instructed the provincial chief secretary to ensure quality medical care for the injured.

Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani, who reached the site of the blast and reviewed the ongoing rescue operation, told reporters that the Karachi business group SITE Association of Industry has built the bank building and rented it out, and that building any structure over a drain was not legal.

“Apparently, and I am not saying this definitively, the SITE association is responsible for the incident because it built the affected building. [on a drain] and rented it out, ”Ghani told reporters.

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