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A view of the house gutted by a fire on Saturday. — Online
A view of the house gutted by a fire on Saturday. — Online

RAWALPINDI: Two women and a teenage boy died and two other persons fell unconscious in separate gas-leak incidents in the city on Saturday, Rescue 1122 and police said.

A fire erupted following a gas leak explosion in a flat near Chaklala Scheme-III on Bostan Khan Road early in the morning.

According to Rescue 1122, the incident occurred when someone tried to switch on a stove or heater. As a result, two women and a teenage boy living in the flat lost their lives on the spot.

Two other persons fall unconscious in a similar incident, Rescue 1122 says

Rescue 1122 and officials from the Airport Police reached the spot and extinguished the flames within an hour. The deceased were identified as Shabnam Kiani, 55, Humaira Noushad, 40, and Fahad Sultan, 13.

District Officer Emergency Abdur Rehman told Dawn that gas had filled in the flat due to a leakage.

He said apparently one of the women and the child took shelter in a toilet to save themselves from the flames but the fire engulfed them within seconds.

“We received the bodies totally burnt and shifted them to the District Headquarters (DHQ) hospital.”

He said the relatives of the deceased did not want to take the bodies to hospital but police helped Rescue 1122 in persuading them to allow a postmortem on the bodies.

He said the windowpanes in nearby buildings were also smashed due to the impact of the explosion. The fire destroyed the whole flat, he added.

In the second incident that occurred at Dhoke Chaudhrian near Car Chowk on Bostan Khan Road, two people fell unconscious due to a gas leakage in their house. Neighbours informed Rescue 1122 after smelling gas from the house. The two men were taken to hospital where their condition was stated to be out of danger.

According to Rescue 1122, the inmates had lit a gas heater to keep themselves warm at night but forgot to switch it off when the supply was suspended.

Later at night, the supply got restored and gas filled in the room. The two men fell unconscious and were shifted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital.

They were identified as Jahanzeb and Faheem. A doctor told the media that the condition of both the patients was stable. The police also reached the spot and launched an investigation.

The district officer emergency said Rescue 1122 had launched a campaign to create awareness among the citizens to switch off their heaters, stoves and cylinders at night to avoid such incidents.

He said people should keep the windows of their rooms open at night and in the morning check if there is any gas leakage before switching on the light and stoves.

“Frequent gas leak accidents during the last three days have put the staff of Rescue 1122 on their toes,” said the official.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019