An explosion in an apartment left the Peshawar division commissioner with 99 per cent burns.
Peshawar Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Anis, a BS-20 officer, was seriously injured in the explosion, which police sources attributed to a gas leak in the apartment in the Park Towers complex in Sector F-10. A 29-year-old woman, Asghar Nisa, was also in the apartment and sustained 45 per cent burn injuries.
Both the patients have been admitted at the hospital’s burn centre.
Confirming the incident, Pims Spokesperson Dr Ayesha Eshani said Anis was in a critical condition as the burn injuries sum up to almost 100 per cent.
The explosion occurred in Apt 17 of the Park Towers studio apartments, which is located next to the main towers. The apartment is in the basement of the building.
The door of the apartment was completely destroyed in the explosion but items such as the TV in the small living room and the bed in the bedroom appeared undamaged. There were glass shards in a narrow lane next to the apartment from shattered windows. A security guard of the complex said the explosion had affected around 10 adjacent apartments.
Khurram, who was one of the first people to reach the explosion site, said he was visiting a friend who lives across the hall from Apt 17.
Khurram, who wished to be identified by his first name only, said the window of Apt 15 broke during the explosion and he rushed outside to see what had happened.
“There was heavy smoke in front of the apartment and then a man emerged from the smoke,” he said. “He was wearing a shalwar and vest and his arms had fresh burns, which looked very serious.”
Khurram said the man identified himself as a government officer and asked for help before almost collapsing to the floor. Khurram said he steadied the man and called the guards for help. Nisa emerged from the room moments later with injuries on her face and neck.
According to sources, the commissioner was staying at the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa House along with his family and was in town to see-off his son, who left for the UK on Friday.
Meanwhile, SSP Operations Muhammad Rizwan said the commissioner was at the apartment to visit a friend.
A CDA official said they received calls from the apartment building’s administration at 5:29pm, informing them of the blast.
“There was no fire at the site, but some windows were broken and pieces of glass were spread everywhere,” he added.
Sadaat, whose mother lives in an apartment in the main towers, said the building management should install effective fire alarms so that residents of the towers and studio apartments are alerted if there is an explosion of this kind.
There were no fire extinguishers or fire exits in the basement.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2013.
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