6 killed, 10 injured as gas cylinder explosion in Pakistan’s Punjab

Islamabad: At least six people were killed and 10 others injured on Sunday when a three-storey building collapsed due to a gas cylinder explosion in Pakistan’s Punjab province, officials said.

The three-storey hotel building located on the Grand Trunk Road in Punjab’s Jhelum area collapsed after the cylinder exploded in the kitchen, they said.

Jhelum Deputy Commissioner Samiullah Farooq told the media that six people were killed while 10 injured were admitted to hospitals for treatment.

“(Rescue) efforts are underway and our teams are present here. There are reports that four to five people were still under the rubble,” he said.

He added that the rescue operation would continue till the whole site was cleared.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep grief over the loss of lives in the building collapse and extended condolences to the bereaved families.

Earlier, Dawn newspaper reported that the explosion took place at around 9:45 am Sunday, following which the rescue teams “immediately responded and initiated rescue efforts”.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Hassan Tariq said that all senior doctors and staff were present at the Jhelum District Headquarters Hospital where the injured were being provided treatment while one seriously injured patient was referred to the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, the paper reported.

The Jhelum police said heavy machinery was being used to remove the debris.

An emergency has been imposed in the District Headquarters Hospital and the entire staff and doctors have been called on duty.

Gas cylinders are used for cooking as piped gas is available only in the major cities. They are also used in vehicles. Due to lack of quality checks, explosions are also frequent.

At least seven people were killed and 14 others injured when a gas cylinder fitted in a vehicle exploded in the Bhalwal area of Punjab’s Sargodha district a day earlier.