MULTAN: Six persons were killed and 10 others injured when three buildings collapsed due to a blast in a fireworks factory here on Saturday.
Explosive chemicals stored in the fireworks factory located in the congested residential area of Hussain Aagahi bazaar went off due to unknown reasons. Two persons died on the spot, while four others succumbed to their injuries in hospital.
Rescue teams faced problems while reaching the spot due to the narrow streets and congested area. The death toll is likely to increase as the condition of several injured persons was serious. The police registered a case and started the investigations.
APP adds: Talking to reporters, City Police Officer Aamir Zulifqar said Kup Police Station SHO Arshad Abass had been suspended immediately, while the Punjab IG had dismissed DSP Saadat Mehdi. The police recorded the statement of Zulifqar, stated to be the owner of the house by locals. However, Zulifqar said the house belonged to his in-laws.
A victim of the fireworks blast alleged that a PML-N Punjab minister was patronising the business in Hussain Aagahi. According to Naeem, Haji Ehsanuddin, was patronising the business. However, Haji Ehsanuddin, who visited Nishter Hospital to inquire after the injured persons, rubbished the allegations. He said he would try his best to provide financial help to victim families.
According to Rescue 1122 sources, six persons killed in the blast were identified as: Parveen Bibi, Tayyeba, Dilawar, Aamir, Tayyab and Ishfaq. The injured persons included: Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Faizan, Suleman, Zulqarnain, Muhammad Ayaz Subhan, Anwar, Ramzan, Ansar and Shabnam.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minster Raja Pervaiz Ashraf expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in the explosion at the fireworks factory. In their separate condolence messages, they expressed sympathies to the bereaved families. President Zardari directed the authorities concerned to provide best possible medical treatment to all those who were injured in the incident.