At least 13 people were killed and 12 others injured in a blast that took place at Paracha Chowk in the city’s Shershah neigbourhood on Saturday. A search and rescue operation is currently underway and the toll may climb higher.
PTI MNA Alamgir Khan’s father is among those to have died in the explosion, PTI-Karachi president MPA Khurram Sher Zaman said.
According to preliminary investigation by the Bomb Disposal Squad, the blast was caused by the leaking gas in the sewerage line.
There are no evidence of sabotage or terrorism.
Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Hospital Trauma Centre head Dr Sabir Memon said that 12 people were killed in the blast.
He confirmed that among the injured, four are in critical condition.
Police said the blast took place in a gas pipeline running through a nullah located in the area, causing immense damage to the private bank’s building which was constructed on the nullah.
Rescue officials arrived at the scene to shift the injured to the Civil Hospital for treatment.
Eyewitnesses claim that many people have been buried under the rubble of the building. Two excavators have been called to the site to remove the debris to find out people trapped there.
A bomb disposal unit (BDU) has arrived at the location. Police and Rangers officials have cordoned off the area.
The BDU will be able to begin investigating the cause of the blast after police conclude their search operation.
It is learnt that since it is a Saturday today, only nine employees of the bank were on duty.
CM orders inquiry
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the commissioner Karachi to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report over its findings, a spokesperson of the chief minister said.
“Police officers should be included in the inquiry so that all aspects [of the blast] can be investigated, ” the chief minister said, expressing deep sorrow over the loss of lives in the blast.
CM Shah issued instructions to the secretary of health to provide necessary facilities to the injured at the Civil Hospital immediately.