Karachi toxic gas toll rises to 14, many hospitalised

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Karachi: A mysterious toxic gas has killed at least 14 people and several others have fallen sick in this port city of Pakistan, police said Tuesday.

Authorities were alerted to the incident when the residents of Keamari area here began rushing to nearby hospitals with severe breathing problems Sunday night.

The source of a toxic gas leak remained unclear Tuesday. Officials said 14 people have been killed so far, ‘Dawn’ newspaper reported.

Ziauddin Hospital spokesperson Amir Shehzad told the newspaper that nine deaths took place at the hospital’s Keamari Campus over the course of the past two days. According to the police, two other deaths were reported at the Kutiyana Hospital. Dozens of others have been hospitalised in various medical facilities across the city.

“We are still clueless about the possible cause of the incident,” Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon said Tuesday.

Residents of the area protested in Keamari’s Jackson Market, demanding answers from authorities on the deaths that have been happened due to the mysterious gas.

Memon said that senior police officers in coordination with the doctors are trying to determine the exact nature of the incident.

Meanwhile, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani said that a ship that was offloading soybean or a similar substance could be the probable cause of the toxic gas. “When offloading from this ship was halted, the smell diminished,” he reasoned.

Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi however, rubbished the report. He said that soybean ship as the crew and the vessel were fine and it wouldn’t have been so, had the gas been emitted from it.

PTI

Karachi, Toxic gas, Ship, Killed, Soyabean

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