LARKANA/HYDERABAD: After Hyderabad and Bhitshah, the Larkana district also witnessed blowing up of a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder at a fuel filling outlet on Sunday. Five people were injured in the latest blast and the fire caused by it.

Only on May 30, a similar incident in the Paretabad area of Hyderabad had left over two dozen people, many of them children, dead and around 35 others wounded.

The blast had occurred at an LPG filling outlet and the fire that followed spread so swiftly that the over 60 children and other people present in the area could not get a chance to run to safety. Many of the injured victims are still fighting for their survival at different hospitals.

A few days later, on June 6, an LPG cylinder exploded at an outlet near Bhitshah in Matiari district leaving seven people injured. One of the three victims who had received 90pc burns died during treatment.

Leaking gas container caught fire while it was being filled at a shop in Ratodero

The third such incident has occurred in Larkana district when a leaking LPG cylinder caught fire and exploded while it was being filled at a shop in the Jalbani locality of Ratodero town on Sunday.

The operator of the shop, Farhan Junejo, and four other persons, Waseem Odhano, Awais Soomro, Bilawal Noonari and Abdul Aziz Soomro, who were present in the shop, were injured in the incident. All the victims were rushed to the Ratodero Taluka Hospital, where doctors referred them to the Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH) for proper treatment of burns and injuries of other nature.

Initial reports suggested that the leaking cylinder caught fire from the flames of a burning stove in the adjacent food outlet. The cylinder exploded with a big bang causing panic and fear in the locality making people to run helter-skelter to save their lives.

The medical staff at the CMCH were quoted as saying that the condition of all five victims was out of danger.

Burns ward of international standards urged

The Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders & Small Industry has urged Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to ensure establishment of an innovative burns ward in Hyderabad.

The chamber’s President, Mohammad Farooq Shaikhani, in his letter Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Sunday said that the present burns ward at the city’s civil hospital faces serious deficiencies.

It lacks adequate intensive care units and modern medical equipment. These shortcomings contribute to a high infection rate among patients, leading to untimely deaths.

Given the fact that Hyderabad has a population of over four million, absence of a modern burns unit is a critical issue because patients from the adjoining districts also report at this hospital, according to the letter.

Mr Shaikhani underscored the need for immediate measures for the upgrading of the burns ward as per the international standards to ensure proper and prompt medical care to patients and a reduced mortality rate in such cases.

He said that these issues were evident in the light of the May 30 LPG cylinder blast in the city that had caused heavy casualties.

He said that an adequately staffed burns ward fully equipped with modern medical technology in the city had now become inevitable.

The required provisions included an intensive care unit, hydrotherapy and laser therapy for complex surgeries, infection control measures, outpatient care and a research wing, he said, and called for training of burns ward staff by experts from developed countries. He also stressed on conducting public awareness campaigns on safe LPG cylinder handling and accident prevention.

The chamber president also emphasised the need for establishment of a ‘rapid response system’ to manage future accidents effectively.

He said that it was time for having dedicated ambulances to ensure timely transportation and care of burn victims.

Mr Shaikhani said that there was also a need for telemedicine services to extend support and consultation to burn victims in remote areas, leveraging modern technology to extend critical care.

By taking the required measures, loss of life could be minimised in the event of such incidents in future, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2024

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