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LAHORE: Eight persons, including five female students of a private university on Raiwind Road were injured, three of them critically, in a gas cylinder blast outside the varsity on Monday.

According to sources, one of the seriously injured female students expired, while the police expressed their ignorance about the death.

All the students injured in the blast were studying in the 1st semester in the physiotherapy department of the University of Lahore, a private institution.

Sadar Division SP Ali Sayed told Dawn a powerful blast left eight people, including five female students injured, three of them critically.

The blast occurred when the students were buying potato fries from a vendor, he said, adding the police and Rescue 1122 ambulances reached the spot responding to an emergency call and shifted six seriously injured people to the Jinnah Hospital Lahore.

A duty doctor at the hospital’s burn unit, Dr Mohammad Younis, said six injured persons were brought in the emergency ward. Of them, he said, three female students were in critical condition -- Zimal Shiekh suffered 90 percent burns, Maham Riaz 60pc and Tayyaba Aslam had 45pc burns.

Quoting medical research and data, he said the chances of survival of the patients reporting with more than 40pc burns were bleak. He added apparently the critical patients suffered deep burns.

Dr Younis said another female student, Sania Tanveer, reported with 35pc burns and Momina Aslam 25pc.

A man, Malik Naimat, who was also injured in the blast suffered 12pc burns and, as per doctors, he was out of danger.

The SP said the vendor had been taken into custody and the police were investigating.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2019