At least five killed in Karachi bus blast
Islamabad: At least five persons were killed and nearly 50 others injured when a powerful explosion ripped through a bus outside a railway station in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi today, witnesses and officials said.
Witnesses said the incident occurred at a spot located less than a kilometre from Army House, the official residence of the Pakistan Army chief when he visits Karachi.
The bus had just left a terminal near the Cantonment Railway Station when the blast went off.
Witnesses told TV news channels that they had seen body parts lying at the site. One man told reporters a young boy was torn in two by the explosion.
Five persons were killed, said Sagheer Ahmed, the health minister of Sindh province.
Officials at Jinnah Hospital said they had received 48 in- Volunteers carry a wounded passenger following a blast in Karachi on Saturday jured people and eight of them were serious.
Women and children were among the injured. The explosion hit several nearby shops, buildings, motorcycles and cars.
Ambulances rushed the injured to nearby hospitals. Footage on television showed the bus on fire as a thick column of smoke rose into the sky.
No group claimed responsibility for the blast. Security forces cordoned off area soon after the explosion. Lahore: Authorities are investigating cough syrup believed to have killed 33 people in eastern Pakistan in the past three days, a government official said on Saturday, the second time in recent months that suspect medicine is thought to have caused multiple deaths.
The deaths from the cough syrup occurred in Gujranwala and villages surrounding the city, said Abdul Jabbar Shaheen, the top administrative official in Gujranwala. Another 54 people are being treated at hospitals in the city who are also believed to have consumed the syrup. Those involved are thought to be labourers or drug addicts who drank the syrup to get high, said Shaheen.
Chemical samples collected from the victims’ stomachs contained dextromethorphan, a synthetic morphine derivative used in cough syrup that can have mind- altering effects if consumed in large quantities, said Shaheen.