Saturday, a blast in Karachi left at least 14 people dead, with more than 12 reportedly injured. The blast occurred in the city’s Sher Shah Paracha Chowk area.
As per initial reports, the blast took place in a gas pipeline running through a nullah located in the area, causing immense damages to the building that was constructed atop it. HBL, one of the tenants in the building, also suffered immense damages.
Rescue teams reached the site on an urgent basis to shift the injured to a nearby hospital for treatment. According to reports, the teams shifted the injured to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Two victims are in critical condition.
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A bomb disposal unit (BDU) also arrived at the scene. As a result, the area has been cordoned off. Currently, authorities are investigating the cause of the blast. However, there are reports stating that the blast occurred due to a gas leak in the nullah. The blast took place after gas from a Sui pipeline running through the nullah leaked and caused the explosion.
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Furthermore, eyewitnesses claim that more people are buried under the debris. As a result, rescue teams called a tractor to save the people trapped.
Videos of the scene are making the rounds on social media. The videos show extensive damage to the building of the bank.
HBL expresses grief at unfortunate branch incident
Reacting to the incident, HBL extended its sympathies to the bereaved families. A spokesperson for the bank said HBL’s focus is to work closely with the authorities in facilitating all rescue and relief efforts and providing support to the families of the affected.
“Our main concern is the safety of our customers and our staff. We continue to serve our customers across Karachi and the rest of the country,” HBL said.
Important to note, this is not the first time an explosion of such a nature occurred. Back in November, gas leakage in a Lyari area left one man dead while injuring eight members of the same family. The explosion occurred in a flat near Mama Hotel.
Rescue authorities shifted the victims to Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital. The victims suffered severe burn wounds.
Similarly, in October, an explosion at a CNG station near Abdullah College in Karachi’s North Nazimabad area left four dead and six injured.
The police further added that it is premature to comment about the nature of the explosion. However, a gas leak is suspected to be the reason behind the explosion, they added.