At least 12 people dead, another 12 injured after explosion occurs in sewage system under building
A suspected gas explosion in a sewage system under a building in Karachi on Saturday killed at least 12 people and injured 12 others, according to police and health authorities.
Speaking to media, police spokesman Sohail Jokhio said it appeared the blast was caused by something igniting natural gas that had accumulated in a sewer under a bank building in the Shershah neighborhood of the Sindh capital. However, he stressed, explosives experts would investigate the exact nature of the blast and determine if the gas had ignited or it was caused by something else.
Dr. Sabir Memon at Karachi’s Trauma Center, meanwhile, said that 12 people had been killed in the blast and 12 others injured. Of these, he said, four were in critical condition. He said that the extent of the injuries was fairly extensive, adding that there did not appear to be any injuries caused by shrapnel that were usually observed in victims of terror attacks.
A few hours after the initial blast, while rescue operations were underway, another smaller explosion occurred at the same location. Authorities said no further injuries or deaths had been reported in the second blast. However, they stressed, fears remained that there could be more victims trapped under rubble.
Local media showed windows shattered in nearby buildings. A vehicle that had been parked in front of the bank building was also badly damaged.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed the Karachi commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report over its findings. “Police officers should be included in the inquiry so that all aspects can be investigated,” he said, expressing sorrow over the loss of lives in the blast. He also issued instructions to health officials to ensure all possible facilities were available to treat injured at the city’s Civil Hospital.