LAHORE: Two people were killed and at least 58 others were injured in a bomb blast at the Lahore Railway Station on Tuesday.
The bomb, weighing at least five kilograms, was planted in the waiting lounge of the Business Express located between platforms one and two, CCPO Lahore Aslam Tareen told reporters at the railway station.
“A porter and a police official are among the dead,” Tareen said, adding that the explosive material used in the bomb weighed at least five kilograms.
Tareen said he was satisfied with the security measures in place at the station and said the police were trying to investigate how the bag managed to get through despite so many scanners.
"We have shifted all those injured in the blast to Ganga Ram, Mayo and Services hospitals," Rescue 1122 officials informed DawnNews.
Five of the wounded are in a critical condition in hospital, a health official told Reuters.
Security beefed up
Following the bomb blast at Lahore, security was beefed up at the railway stations in all major cities across the country, including Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.
In Karachi, the security deployment was increased five-folds and sterner checks were put in place.
"Instead of one of two police officers, at least three officials are now checking the passengers and their luggage with metal detectors, while commandos have also been deployed in passenger trains," SHO Karachi City Station Habibullah Khan Khattak told PPI.
Rescue official Kiramat Ali described it as a “huge blast” and said 25 wounded had been taken to hospital.
Bomb planted in bag
An AFP photographer at the scene said the blast took place near the lounge for the luxury Business Express train to Karachi, a service launched two months ago offering first-class travel between Pakistan’s two biggest cities.
Senior police officer Ali Ahmad Malik told AFP the bomb was left in a bag and that the Business Express train had left the station and was not the target.
The waiting room was littered with glass and upended furniture, with its windows blown in by the force of the explosion.
"The government has announced compensation for the victims and their families," Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour was quoted as saying by DawnNews.
Five hundred thousand rupees will be given to the families of those who lost their lives, while one hundred thousand to those who were seriously injured as a result of the bomb blast, Bilour added.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed grief and shock over the attack.