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Death toll from Multan fireworks blast rises to six

August 04, 2012


Residents and rescue workers clear rubble from the site of an explosion in Multan on August 4, 2012. — Photo by Reuters

MULTAN: The death toll resulting from an explosion triggered in fireworks material stored at a house in a densely populated locality of Multan on Saturday has risen to six, with at least 12 other people injured in the incident.

Sources at the Nishter Medical Institute (NMI), where the injured had been taken, said that two more victims had lost their lives due to the incident, including a man named Ishfaq Bhatti and an unidentified woman who was burnt alive in the incident.

The explosion occurred around 9.30 am at the building in the city’s Hussain Agahi Chowk Bazar area, where the fireworks material was kept. The blast from the material caused the building to collapse, trapping several people under the rubble.

The building caught fire as a result of the blast which spread to nearby houses and shops in the market.

City police chief Aamer Zulfikar told reporters that several nearby buildings were damaged in the blast, which also wounded at least 12 people.

“We are trying to ascertain what triggered the explosion in the factory,” he said.

Fire-fighters were busy putting the fire out while rescue teams were making efforts to recover people from under the debris of the damaged buildings.

President takes notice

President Asif Ali Zardari, in a condolence message on Saturday, expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in the explosion, and his sympathies with the bereaved families.

The President also directed authorities to provide the best possible medical treatment to all those who were injured in this incident.

Victim blames PML-N minister

A victim of the blast alleged that a provincial minister from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was patronising the fireworks business in the Hussain Agahi area.

According to Naeem, son of Dilawar, who died in the blast, Provincial Minister from the PML-N, Haji Ehsanuddin, was patronising the business.

However, Provincial Minister Haji Ehsanuddin, who visited Nishter Hospital to inquire after the injured, rubbished the allegations. He added that he would try his best to ensure financial help to victim families.