KARACHI: Six people were killed while at least 50 people, including three women and two children were injured when a bus blew up near Cantonment Railway Station in Karachi, Express News reported on Saturday.
The explosion at the busy bus stop had set the Sargodha bound bus on fire and sent flaming debris all over the packed square.
Even as confusion persisted on the nature of the blast after Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials remained non-committal about the blast, SSU’s Raja Umar Khatab told Express News that the explosion was a case of terrorism.
BDS officials, who had reportedly said the blast occurred in a passenger bus after two of its CNG cylinders exploded back to back, were later non-committal, saying they were still investigating the cause of the blast.
Earlier police officials had claimed that one of the cylinders was placed on the top of the bus which exploded. Then Iqbal Mehmood said that it was possibly the air condition’s compressor that had exploded since there was little evidence of explosives.
However, there were conflicting reports regarding the nature of the blast as the bus driver claimed no cylinders were fitted in the vehicle.
Another eyewitness said that just as a bus pulled up at the stop, an explosion occurred in the bus.
Express News correspondent Quratulain Hashmi reporting from the Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Centre said that at least 50 people had been brought to the healthcare centre. She added that most of the injured brought in were described by doctors as suffering from burn injuries.
Some of the injured were reported to be critically injured.
Buildings and vehicles close to the site were also damaged.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik has sought report on the blast from IG Sindh. He has also directed an FIA team to visit the crime scene and collect evidence.
The President and Prime Minister have condemned the blast and have directed to provide the injured with best possible medical care.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon also reached the blast site.
In a similar incident earlier, one person was killed and five injured when the CNG cylinder of a public bus exploded on the Abul Hasan Ispahani Road.
The bus was filling gas at a CNG station when the blast occurred.