ISLAMABAD: Aileen Qaiser, a senior journalist, died after sustaining severe burns in a suspected gas fire in her house.
On Thursday morning at around 8pm, when she switched on the iron in her room to press her clothes before heading out to work, a fireball was sparked.
Hearing the explosion, her younger daughter went up to the first floor and saw her mother enveloped by flames.
She, a cook, and driver extinguished the fire.
Aileen was rushed to the Shifa International Hospital where she was treated for 90 per cent burns on her body. She though succumbed to her injuries early on Sunday morning.
Her husband, Professor Dr Qaiser Mushtaq – a mathematician and the vice chancellor of the Islamia University, Bahawalpur - was in the former princely state when the incident happened.
Officials believe that the piped gas supply to the house had leaked through the heating system on the first floor. With gas accumulated in the room, a hot iron combusted it explosively.
Aileen had studied at the National University of Singapore and later at the Wilson College at Oxford. Even though she was a civil servant in Singapore, she left her job and travelled to Pakistan to stay with her husband whom she had met while in Oxford.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2017.
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