KARACHI: Two men died and four others sustained burn injuries when an explosion occurred at a fuel station in North Karachi on Sunday, officials said.
The incident occurred at Al-Madina petrol station in Sector 5-C in North Karachi.
The police claimed that a gas leakage triggered the explosion, which badly damaged the room where the victims were sitting.
Both the gas cylinder and compressor were found intact by bomb experts.
The police said that several persons were sitting in the manager’s room adjacent to the safe room of the fuel station whose central door was the same when the huge explosion occurred.
Six persons sustained burn wounds. They were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where doctors pronounced Saqib Moin as dead on arrival, said additional police surgeon Dr Saleem Shaikh.
Another injured person, Rashid, died later on. He was stated to be the owner of the fuel station while Saqib was its employee.
Gas leakage blamed for the tragedy
Dr Shaikh said that of the four injured persons, three were taken to the Aga Khan University Hospital after first medical aid as they were in a serious condition.
Two of the injured were identified as Kaitan Dakshan, 20, and Faqeer Muhammad, 31.
Khawaja Ajmer Nagri DSP Altaf Husainsaid that it was a huge explosion, which destroyed a wall of the room while fire bubbles pierced its door and window. A wall of the service room also cracked because of the impact of the explosion.
The police called a team of the Bomb Disposal Squad who examined the place and found both the cylinder and compressor intact. The bomb expert observed gas smell emanating from the room where the explosion took place.
Quoting initial findings of the BDS team, DSP Husain said that apparently a gas leakage ignited the fire. The gas had accumulated in the room where probably someone lit a match, which caused the explosion.
The officer said that the police were further investigating the incident.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the explosion at fuel station and sought a report from the Karachi commissioner. Mr Murad asked if the relevant federal institution conducted inspection of CNG stations.
“If inspection was done, when it was done last time,” asked the chief minister. He also that asked if the compressor had expired or was defective. While expressing his regrets over the loss of life, he directed the authorities for proper treatment of the injured persons.
Media persons beaten up
Meanwhile, media persons covering the incident at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital were beaten up by an angry mob, which had gathered there, according to witnesses. Relatives of the victims were apparently angry over covering the incident there and beat up some media persons.
The chief minister also took notice of the alleged beating up of certain TV channels at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. “Beating of the media persons is unacceptable,” said Mr Murad.
He ordered the Central SSP to conduct an inquiry into the incident. He also directed the police officers to take action against the persons who subjected the media persons to beating.
Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2019