Pak: 14 killed, many injured in massive blast in Karachi city

Karachi/Islamabad: At least 14 people were killed and 15 others injured in Pakistan's financial capital of Karachi on Saturday when a powerful blast, apparently triggered by a gas explosion in a covered sewage drain, ripped through the building of a private bank situated on it, police said.

Most of the casualties are reportedly customers and staff present inside the HBL bank which was built on top of a covered sewage drain in Karachi's Shershah area and collapsed following the explosion, the Express Tribune newspaper reported. Sindh Home Department Secretary Qazi Shahid Pervaiz confirmed that 14 people died in the explosion, while 15 others were injured, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The dead also included father of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's member Alamgir Khan.

SHO Zafar Ali Shah said the explosion took place in a drain located underneath a private bank, which had been served a notice to vacate the premises so the drain could be cleaned up. Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab said that an investigation was under way to ascertain the cause of the blast.

An initial report of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) said that the explosion was caused by a build-up of gas in the sewerage line. A senior official was quoted in the report as saying that that counter-terrorism officials were also probing the explosion. A police spokesperson clarified that there was no lead suggesting that the blast might be linked to terrorism, Geo TV reported.

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