9 killed, 2 injured in Multan as building collapses after cylinder explosion

Published March 12, 2024
Rescue 1122 workers can be seen performing a rescue operation at the site of the collapsed building. — Photo via author
Rescue 1122 workers can be seen performing a rescue operation at the site of the collapsed building. — Photo via author

Nine people were killed and two others injured when a three-storey building collapsed on top of another in Multan following a gas cylinder explosion, officials said.

District Emergency Officer Dr Kaleemullah told Dawn.com that the bodies and injured were rescued from the rubble following a five-hour operation in which 70 rescue personnel participated. He added that five individuals of a family were among the dead.

The incident occurred in the Mohalla Jawadian area near Haram Gate.

Multan Deputy Commissioner (DC) retired Capt Rizwan Qadir ordered an inquiry into the unfortunate incident. “A technical team has been formed for the physical inspection of surrounding buildings,” he said.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Multan Sohail Chaudhry said the building collapsed due to a cylinder blast, according to a preliminary report.

“In the initial report, there was an explosion in the three-storey building due to a cylinder blast,” he said. “The roof of the building collapsed onto the mud house below, trapping residents under the debris.”

Multan Commissioner Maryam Khan also reached the site of the incident, where she ordered a survey into the state of buildings.

“Instructions have been given to the Municipal Corporation for the survey of dangerous buildings,” she added. “The district administration has decided to hold a high-level inquiry into the tragedy.”

Commissioner Maryam confirmed that the injured persons were receiving treatment at Nishtar Hospital.

Multan DC Qadir said the committee would be headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Saif.

“The inquiry committee will conduct a detailed review of the causes and damages of the incident,” he added. “Physical inspection of dangerous buildings in the inner city has also begun.”

The deputy commissioner said a strategy will also be formulated for the relocation of people living in dilapidated and dangerous buildings.

Punjab CM expresses condolences

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the tragedy.

In a post on X, the PML-N quoted her as saying: “She extends heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families and urges immediate action from the Multan commissioner for a thorough report.”

Four gas leakage blasts in Pindi

Meanwhile, two children were killed and eight persons sustained burn wounds on Tuesday in four different gas leakage explosions around different areas of Rawalpindi.

Rescue 1122 spokesperson Usman Gujjar told Dawn.com that the blasts took place in Bhabra Bazar, Waris Khan area’s Arya Mohallah, Tench Bhata Abadi and near Gurja Road.

He said 25 reports of gas leakage were received from different areas in the city.

The Rescue 1122 spokesperson added that two children identified as Ayat Fatima and Arham lost their lives in the first incident at Bhabra Bazar. He said gas was accumulated inside the room and an explosion occurred when the electricity switch was turned on.

“The body of their mother is 50 per cent burnt,” Gujjar said. “She was shifted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital in critical condition.”

In the second incident, he said, five persons suffered burn injuries and they were also shifted to the same hospital for medical treatment. “The condition of all the injured is out of danger,” Gujjar added.

The victims were identified as Intizaar, Riaz Ahmed, Parveen, 26-year-old Ambreen and 15-year-old Amber.

Gujjar said two persons were injured in the third gas leak blast in a house located in Tench Abadi. The injured persons were identified as Abdullah and Hasan.

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