LAHORE: Fourteen persons were killed and 74 injured, five of them seriously, in violent explosions which rocked Lahore when an ammunition dump in the Cantonment area caught fire after a blast just before noon today [May 20].

According to an official announcement, the casualties included both civilians and Army personnel. The announcement said the fire was now under complete control. The affected area has been completely surrounded. The roads in the areas nearby and the Lahore Civil Airport have been declared safe for movement and traffic. The relief efforts, the announcement adds, have been taken in hand. An earlier official announcement stated … owing to hot weather and dry wind and grass a fire had broken out in the area.

A hectic four-hour battle brought the conflagration under control. Large contingents of Army and Police had cordoned off the whole area around the ammunition depot. Casualties had been reported in three villages adjacent to the site of the accident. Dher, a village very close to the ammunition dump, was reported to be the worst sufferer and the Army Jawans and Police hurried to the spot and removed the dead and injured from the debris.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2020