ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: Three workers were killed and one was injured in a factory blast in the limits of Tarnol police on Sunday.

The police said Mohammad Iqbal had established a factory - Aslam Medical Gas Centre - on eight marlas at Sangjani. The staff there used to fill oxygen into cylinders which were supplied to hospitals and also used by ambulances.

On Sunday, while a cylinder was being filled, it exploded. As a result, the roof of the building caved in.

Three workers - Noor Elahi, 65, Dilshad Khan, 22, and Zaheer, 40, - died on the spot. The injured identified as Javed was shifted to Pims where his condition was out of danger.

A police official said residents of the area and rescue staff removed the debris and recovered bodies.

The Tarnol police arrested the owner of the factory on the charge of negligence, illegal oxygen filling and absence of safety measures in the factory.

The bodies of Noor Elahi and Zaheer were sent to the Basal village in the Attock district while that of Dilshad Khan was taken to his native city of Peshawar.

When contacted, Rana Tahir, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Saddar, said though the factory owner claimed that he had a licence for oxygen filling, he could not provide it to the police.

“Oxygen cylinders normally do not explode but it seems that the cylinder was overfilled or of a poor quality. We have also contacted the health department to verify if the factory had been issued a licence.”

He said 35 FIRs had been registered against factories and shops for illegal oxygen filling in the limits of Golra and Tarnol police.

“I have instructed the police officials to carry out a survey of the area to find out if there was any other shop filling oxygen illegally,” he said.

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