Cause of mysterious gas leak still unknown as 5 killed in Karachi
KPT chief terms reports of gas leakage from port area baseless

Statesman Report

KARACHI: Local authorities were still unsure on Monday about the cause of a mysterious gas leak that has claimed the lives of five people and affected dozens of others in Karachi's Keamari area.

The source of the leak and type of gas is not yet known. However, there is currently no suspicion of sabotage. Authorities were alerted to the incident when people in the Keamari area began rushing to nearby hospitals with severe breathing problems on Monday night.

Since the bodies were not brought to any government hospital, the exact causes of the deaths have not yet been ascertained, police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi said.

Fifty-six persons were brought to Dr Ziauddin Hospital, while 10 patients were brought to Kutiyana Memon Hospital, most of whom were discharged after first aid. According to Dr Seemin Jamal, executive director at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, the hospital received three patients, two of whom have been discharged while one is still admitted at the hospital.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South Sharjeel Kharal told the media that there were three deaths at Dr Ziauddin Hospital and two deaths at Kutiyana Memon Hospital. DIG Kharal visited the area and was briefed by both SSP City and SP Keamari.

The DIG also said that police are further investigating the incident, while a team comprising officials of KPT, Pakistan Navy, West Deputy Commissioner's office and the health department were being sent to the affected area, he added.

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) hospital in Kemari is providing treatment for all individuals affected by the incident and KPT rescue and support teams are providing full support to the victims.

According to Jackson Police, a total of 132 persons have been affected by the incident.

Meanwhile, Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar on Monday termed the reports about gas leakage from the jurisdiction of the port as incorrect and baseless. He told this to newsmen in a press conference at the KPT head office here. He said an investigation team was constituted immediately that physically checked the whole port area for four to five hours but no indication about gas leakage was found from any spot within the jurisdiction of the port.