Blast in Karachi, 14 people die building was constructed illegal
KARACHI: According to latest reports received till finalising the newspaper on Saturday, at least 14 people lost their lives and 12 sustained wounds in the explosion. Police said it was apparently a gas-related explosion.
The police officials said that the cause of the blast will be ascertained by the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS).
Rescue activities have been at the incident’s site Heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies rushed to the scene. Rescuers are searching for people feared trapped in the two-storey building that partially collapsed in the blast.
PTI MNA Alamgir Khan’s father is among those to have died in the explosion, PTI-Karachi president MPA Khurram Sher Zaman said. He also said that among the injured, four are in critical condition.
During the rescue activities, another explosion hit the building when a shovel surface was apparently touched an electricity wire on the site.
Luckily, it did not cause any casualties as the law enforcement agencies and rescue teams evacuated the people to a safe distance.
The blast occurred near Paracha Chowk in Karachi’s Shershah area, according to a statement issued by the Karachi police spokesperson. SHO Zafar Ali Shah said the explosion took place in a nullah (drain) located underneath a private bank, which had been served a notice to vacate the premises so the nullah could be cleaned up.
The bank’s building, as well as a nearby petrol pump, was damaged in the explosion. The police spokesperson said that a bomb disposal squad was called to examine the site of the explosion, adding that the cause can be determined with certainty once the squad submits its report.
According to a report, the report, released later in the day, concluded that the blast occurred due to gas leakage and the accumulation of gases in the nullah underneath the building. The police spokesperson also said no evidence of terrorism had been found at the site of the blast yet.
Earlier, officials reached the site of the explosion and cordoned off the area, Sindh Rangers said in a statement. Footage of the blast showed a damaged building and debris lying on the ground. Damaged vehicles could also be seen at the site of the explosion.
People could be seen trying to remove the rubble. There were reports of people being trapped under the debris.
The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) has prepared its report on the Sher Shah blast in Karachi and declared a gas-related explosion. The BDS team stated in its report that the accumulated gas in the sewerage line beneath the two-storey building caused a powerful explosion. The two-storey building was reportedly constructed on a sewerage line that caved in after a powerful explosion today.
Rescue activities are continued at the incident’s site Heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies rushed to the scene. Rescuers are searching for people feared trapped in the two-storey building that partially collapsed in the blast. The building houses a bank and other offices. According to reports, the two-storey building is constructed on a sewerage line.
Construction of buildings on nullahs illegal
Later, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said while speaking to the media that according to the details he had received so far, the bank’s building was constructed and given on rent by the SITE Association of Industry.
“I am unable to understand that how can an institution construct a building on a nullah and rent it out,” the minister said.
Replying to a question, Ghani added that “apparently, and I am not saying this with finality, the SITE Association is responsible for the incident as it constructed the affected building [on a drain] and gave it on rent.”
The minister said principally, the construction of any structure on a nullah was not legal.
Saying that all structures constructed on drains in the city should be removed, he added that however, those affected and displaced as a result of the move must also be given compensation.
“It’s not as much their fault as of those who allotted the land to them in the first place,” Ghani explained. He said that institutions, departments, authorities and officials who allotted land to people on nullahs must be identified so that action could be taken against them.