HYDERABAD: While no fewer than six scores of families along with hundreds of other Hyderabad residents have been in a state of mourning since May 30 when a heavy loss of life was caused by a cylinder blast and resultant fire in the Paretabad area, another incident of same kind on Thursday left at least seven people injured near Bhitshah, located in the neighbouring district of Matiari.

The death toll in the Paretabad tragedy continued to rise over the last week and with a 13-year-old boy, Ajmal, son of Mohammad Ali, succumbing to his severe burn injuries on Thursday.

Since Tuesday evening, seven of around 60 victims, most of them children, died during treatment in Karachi, taking the death toll to 26. The six others were identified as Altaf Ahmed, 65, son of Jalaluddin, Hasnain, 12, son of Mohammad Shahid, Mohammad Raza alias Ahmed Raza, 14, Haram, 2, son of Ashraf, Mahnoor, 8, daughter of Habib, Kinza, 5, daughter of Zeeshan, and Ashraf, 35, son of Hussain.

Death toll in Paretabad tragedy rises to 26

On Thursday, only a week after the Paretabad tragedy, seven people received burn injuries when a cylinder exploded and caused a big fire in an LPG outlet near Bhitshah in Matiari district. The fire destroyed the outlet and the adjacent auto-mechanic shop.

The injured were rushed to the Liaquat University Hospital where doctors said Allah Bakhsh, 65, Dibar, 30, and Mohammad Saleh, 40, had suffered 90pc burns and their condition was critical. Nadir Ali, 25, and Beemal, 30, were under treatment with 35pc burns whereas Waheed Shah, 50, and Abid Hussain, 20, had received 30pc and 20pc burns, respectively, they added. Nadir Ali and Abid Hussain are brothers.

Allah Bakhsh, Dilbar and Beemal were shifted to LUH’s intensive care unit (ICU).

The injured included some rickshaw drivers from Hyderabad and Bhitshah. They had gone to Bhitshah together in one rickshaw to get their cylinders filled.

Local journalists reported that fire tenders could reach the burning outlets, at Bhitshah Mori, after a delay of two hours.

Matiari DC Yusuf Sheikh said that some people were now doing the LPG business at unauthorised spots, including the rear side of their houses, due to the ongoing crackdown on illegal LPG outlets.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2024

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