The death toll from Tuesday night’s blast at the City Railway Station rose to four after two children of the same family passed away on Wednesday.
Eight-year-old Mahmood Khan succumbed to his injuries at Mayo Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. His brother Amir Sohail passed away at Children’s Hospital at night. He was three.
The blast had occurred on Platform No 2, right outside the waiting lounge of Business Express train at around 6:42pm. Two people – a porter and a police constable – had died on the spot.
Mahmood had suffered internal head injuries in the blast, one of the doctors who treated him told The Express Tribune. Mahmood and his family had reached Lahore Tuesday evening, shortly before the blast. Mahmood had been shifted to the neurological ward at Mayo Hospital but doctors had little hope that he would survive. Mahmood’s father, who had also been admitted at Mayo Hospital, after suffering injuries in the blast left the hospital on Wednesday.
Children’s Hospital medical superintendant Dr Ahsan Waheed Rathore could not confirm Amir’s cause of death. He said that the child had been critical since Tuesday night. According to the MS, shrapnel had hit Amir on his chest and head. Amir had been brought to Children’s Hospital late Tuesday night, said Dr Rathore. He had initially been taken to Mayo Hospital and then shifted to Ganga Ram Hospital.
The Punjab government has provided an ambulance to take the bodies of the two brothers to their native city in Rahim Rar Khan.
Dr Zahid Pervaiz, the Mayo Hospital medical superintendent, told The Tribune that of the 55 injured brought to the hospital at least 20 patients had been discharged. Those still under treatment were shifted from the intensive care unit to the emergency ward.
The condition of two injured who were taken to Services Hospital and nine at Ganga Ram Hospital was also described as “stable”. Doctors said that they had been shifted to emergency wards.
Abdul Rashid, one of the injured being treated at Mayo Hospital, said that he had been on the platform when the explosion took place. “Many passengers had disembarked when the bomb went off,” he said, adding that he had lost consciousness soon after. “When I came to, I saw rescue workers putting the injured into ambulances,” Rashid said, “The explosion resonated.”
Mohammad Yaseen, another man under treatment at the hospital, described the scene after he gained consciousness, “People were lying in pools of blood all around me. Many were screaming and crying.”
On Wednesday, several politicians and government officials visited Mayo Hospital to inquire about those injured in the blast. Among them were Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, District Coordination Officer Noorul Amin Mengal and former federal minister Khurshid Kasuri.
The chief minister assured an 11-member family under treatment, who belongs to Karachi, that they would be accommodated in the best possible way.
Later talking to reporters, the CM said the federal government was responsible for security at the railway station since “Pakistan Railways is a federal institution”. However, he added the Punjab Police will cooperate with the federal government. He called the act “inhuman”. “Terrorism is a problem for everyone, be it a provincial government or the federal government,” he added. Sharif said “a united Pakistan” was needed to cope with the problem.
On the other hand, Raja Aamir Khan, the PPP Punjab information secretary, described it as a “failure of the Punjab government”. In a press release, he said that the station’s security, functioning of security cameras and deployment of security staff was the responsibility of the Punjab government.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.