KARACHI: A man was killed while a couple were among the five persons injured in an apparent gas cylinder explosion inside a house in Mehmoodabad on Monday evening, police and hospital officials said.

The blast caused substantive damage to the house and other adjoining buildings, triggering panic in the residents.

The man died when debris of the wall of the home that collapsed fell on him owing to the impact of the blast. The condition of the couple was stated to be critical as they sustained serious burn wounds.

The Baloch Colony police said that the explosion occurred in a kitchen of the house situated on KDA Street, TP-II (Treatment Plant) of Mehmoodabad, killing a passerby and injuring five others.

Apparently, the kitchen was filled with leaking gas but the couple who were injured in the incident did not realise it, said the officer.

The deceased was identified as Kanti Raja, in his mid-40s. He was passing through the area when he came under the debris of the falling wall of the house and died.

“We received a man brought dead and five others injured,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

She said that among the injured persons were Umair, 33, his wife, Sadaf, 30, and another woman identified as Naseem Bano, 60. The man suffered up to 50 per cent burns while his wife received 80pc burns and their condition was critical, added Dr Jamali.

There were no burn marks on injured Bano’s body.

Subsequently, two more injured persons, including a child, who received wounds caused by flying splinters, were also brought to the hospital for treatment.

Later on, three injured persons were shifted to the burns centre of the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi for further treatment, said an Edhi Foundation spokesperson.

Police in their initial probe termed it an accident.

“It was a gas cylinder explosion,” said DIG-East Amir Farooqi.

The police said the kitchen of the home was filled with gas that triggered the blast.

A team of the bomb disposal squad was called in to examine the place.

The DIG-East said that bomb experts of the police’s Special Branch gave a clearance certificate, ruling out the possibility of any sabotage.

The experts stated in their report that they inspected the house and found that the blast occurred in the kitchen because of gas leakage.

The deceased, Kanti Raja, was a sanitary worker at the Bahria Medical College.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2020