Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

One killed, six injured in roof collapse after explosion

By Imran Gabol 2016-10-27
LAHOR E: A boy died while six of his family members were injured when explosive material went off and the roof of their double-storey house collapsed in Mochi Gate on Wednesday.

According to a Rescue 1122 official, they received a call in the wee hours of Wednesday that the roof of a house had collapsed in Mochi Gate. Rescue ambulances rushed to the spot and started removing the rubbletorecoverthepeopletrapped underit.

They recovered six people, including a woman, and shifted them to the Mayo Hospital where two of them were said to be critical.While removing the rubble, rescue personnel found explosive material and 11 hand grenades in the house. They alerted police who reached the spot and took the explosives into custody.

The incident occurred in a 22-marla compound housing four residences belonging to four brothers who lived there with their parents and families. A total of 22 people lived in the 10-room compound.

One of the residents, Masoom Husain, told Dawn that he was sleeping in his room when he heard a blast. He said he and other family members came out of their rooms, adding that his father asked him to check the electricity panel where he had seen some sparks.

He said when he rushed towards the panel, he saw two of his sistersin-law and their children coming out of their rooms when suddenly the roofoftheirhouse cavedin.

Husain said one of his brothers and nephews were trapped under therubble and suffered injuries, and he called his neighbours and rescue officials to help pull them out. Through their collective efforts, they managed to rescue six people, including his brothers. But they could not pull out one of his nephews, Ali Afzal. The nephew was sleeping in his room when the roof caved in.

He said he was unaware of any grenades and explosives.

`Maybe someone attacked our house with grenades. We are traders of undergarments in Shahalam market and do not know about any explosives or grenades.

The injured included Kashif, 40, Sheikh Ahsan 36, Asif Husain, 30, Muqaddas, 18, Ali Raza, 48, and Ali Azam, 22.

Mugdas and Azam were discharged from the hospital after treatment, while Husain and Raza were said to be critical.

The rescue team conducted the operation for more than15 hours, recovered the body of Afzal andshifted it to morgue.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Dr Haider Ashraf told the media that initial investigation revealed the explosive material dumped in the house had gone off thateausedtherooftocavein.

He said police also recovered 11 grenades and more explosive material and were investigating what it was doing there.

The DIG also said they were investigating if the family was connected to a banned organisation.

`We will also determine the reason for dumping explosives and grenades in the house. It could have been used in any subversive activity.

He said the grenades recovered from the house were not live, adding that the Counter-Terrorism Department would investigate the incident though there was no element of terrorism to the incident.

He said the family was earlier dealing in scrap and the explosives could have been part of that.