PESHAWAR: Six members of a family were killed while another was injured as an explosion tore through a hotel in Bilal Town of Peshawar early on Friday morning.
in the early Friday morning.
Officials later said that the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) had not found any trace of an improvised explosive device (IED) or traces of explosive from the blast site, suggesting that the explosion was caused by something like accumulated gas combusting explosively.
A seven member family, hailing from Hangu had taken up two rooms at the small Afandi hotel which lies within the remits of the Hashtnagri police station, officials said.
SP City Kukab told The Express Tribune that the family hailed from Hangu district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and were visiting Peshawar to consult a doctor in the Dabgari area of the provincial capital.
After they were unable to return to their native area on Thursday since it was too late, they had booked two rooms at the hotel to stay the night. The women and children were in one room and the men were in another room right opposite them.
At around 2:30 am, a power explosion ripped through the hotel which destroyed the façade of the hotel.
Kukab said that the dead include 23-year-old Mehran, his 50-year-old mother Najmina, 24-year-old Nargis, four-year-old Rukhmela and Asia.
He further said that another two members of the same family suffered critical burn injuries. These included Kamran and Amir. They were taken to the burns ward at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) in Islamabad for treatment where Kamran later succumbed to his injuries.
Police suspect a probable gas leak caused the incident.
“The dead bodies were completely burnt, but not damaged. In a bomb blast, bodies are torn into pieces,” a police official told The Express Tribune.
Officials are of the view that there was a gas connection in the room and the children probably pushed its valve while playing, which led to the explosion.
CCPO Qazi Jamil also confirmed that they had not found any traces of explosives.
After the blast, the entire building caught fire. Moreover, falling debris from the hotel damaged six cars.
Fire tenders from Rescue 1122 reached the spot and controlled the situation after fighting the blaze for an hour.
Later, police cordoned off the entire area and checked all the 24 rooms in the small hotel.
An FIR had been registered in the local police station.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2018.