LAHORE: A citizen was killed while six others were injured after a ‘compressor blast’ ripped through a religious gathering at Township on Saturday night.

The blast occurred at the main venue of the meeting organised by a religious group at Mohammad Ali Road.

Initially, the Rescue 1122 received a call of a ‘mysterious explosion’ near a bakery outlet on Mohammad Ali Road. However, later the law-enforcement agencies declared it a compressor blast.

The Rescue 1122 ambulances rushed to the spot followed by a heavy contingent of the police to respond to the emergency.

A spokesperson for the Rescue 1122 said they found a citizen – Hafiz Mahmood – dead on the spot and six others injured.

The injured identified as Abdul Ghafoor, Ahsan, Abu Bakar, Afaq, Mohammad Aslam and Dilshad were shifted to nearby hospitals.

The Counter Terrorism Department Punjab and the officials of other law-enforcement agencies also reached the spot and cordoned off the entire vicinity by making heavy deployment.

A spokesperson for the CTD declared it a compressor blast claiming that the venue of the meeting/gathering was organised in front of an AC/freezer workshop.

He said according to initial investigations, it seems a compressor exploded as the forensic experts collected pieces of the compressor from the site.

“So far no traces of the explosive have been found from the crime scene,” the spokesperson said adding that the citizen who died on the spot was the technician who was repairing a fridge at that time.

The Rescue 1122 official said two of the injured persons were stated to be critical at the hospital.

Shortly after the blast, the religious meeting was postponed and the people gathered there dispersed, a police official said.

Senior police officers, including Operations SSP Mohammad Naveed, inspected the crime scene and submitted his initial report to the high-ups.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Zulfiqar [later in the night] also confirmed to media that it was a compressor blast.

While denying reports of bomb blast, he said no traces of any explosive matter were found from the crime scene.

He said the initial report has been sent to the IGP Punjab by the Lahore police.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2019