Two more minors injured in the gas cylinder explosion in Labour Colony, Panr succumbed to their injuries on Tuesday, increasing the death toll to four.
The blast took place on Monday evening in a shop inside the colony. Initially, two minors were killed and 20 people were injured in the accident. The intensity of the blast was so severe that it caused the shop and two houses to collapse, while buildings in the surrounding area were also damaged.
“It was an LPG gas filling shop located amid houses where all the villagers came,” said Shahid Khan, a resident. “Villagers and rickshaw drivers frequented the filling shop. The blast took place at around 8pm in the evening, when several people were around.”
The four dead minors are, Abid, 7, Sadia, 8, Ruqia, 8 and nine-month-old Kashmala.
The relatives of the victims seemed unhappy with the hospital arrangements. “There was only one doctor and two other staff members in the entire casualty unit,” said Iqbal Khan, a social worker. Khan added the injured were unattended for up to half an hour. “When we called reporters some doctors appeared and started treatment.”
In contrast, people were happy with the response of their MPA and MNA, who reached the hospital. “The lawmakers came and directed the hospital medical superintendent to start treatment immediately, after which everything was streamlined,” said Zahir Khan, a resident of Panr.
MPA Fazal Hakim Khan, who was present at the hospital, said he arranged ambulances to take patients in critical condition to Peshawar. “We have also informed provincial assembly members in Peshawar of the situation so preparations can be made in the city’s hospitals
The sound of the explosion was heard in far-off areas. “At first, we thought it was a bomb blast,” said Sher Bahadar, another resident. “Everyone rushed out of their houses to see what had happened. We saw a shop had caved in so we started a rescue operation immediately.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2013.
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