LAHORE: A powerful bomb went off at at the food street in the old Anarkali area of Lahore, killing at least three people and injuring 40 others, Express News reported.
According to Express News correspondent Nauman Shaikh, the explosion took place at the ground floor of a three storied restaurant.
“Civil defence officials said that this was a bomb blast,” Shaikh said, adding that officials believed between two to three kilogrammes of explosives along with ball bearings and other objects were used in the device.
Shaikh added that rescue services had arrived at the scene and are shifting the injured to the Mayo and Gangaram hospital. He added that there were as many as 40 people were present at the scene when the bomb exploded. At least five of those injured have been described by doctors to be in critical condition. Doctors confirmed recovering ball bearings from victims.
The Punjab Health minister Tahir Sindhu told Express News that three people had died, including a child and that 37 people were injured. He added that all the senior professors and doctors were working at the hospital to treat the injured.
Later Federal Minister for Railways Saad Rafique also visited the site of the blast.
Compensation packages amounting to Rs0.5 million for the dead and Rs0.1 million for the injured were announced by the provincial minister.
Law enforcement personnel have also arrived at the scene and have cordoned off the area. Bomb disposal squad is investigating the blast site and conducting a search of the surrounding area.
An eye witness, Mohammad Azam told Express News that he was passing through the area with his wife when a “powerful blast took place” at a juice shop.
Azam said that he saw at least three bodies and that up to 15 people had been injured, and after the explosion people fled towards the market.
“I still cannot hear anything in my right ear. A lot of glass is littering the area.”
Old Anarkali and the food street is a popular public spot and is frequented by people especially on the weekends.