At least 15 people were killed and 16 others injured in an explosion on Saturday at a bank branch in Karachi’s industrial zone, police said.
A senior police officer said the explosion at a branch of Habib Bank Limited, Pakistan’s largest lender, may have been caused by a gas leak, Sarfaraz Nawaz also told reporters the building appeared to have been built over a sewer drain.
“Our explosives crews are at work trying to determine the nature of the explosion, but apparently the structure was built over a drain and gas could be a probable cause,” he said.
In a statement on Twitter, Habib Bank said an explosion damaged its branch and resulted in casualties and injuries.
“Our sympathies go out to the bereaved families,” he added.
A gas station next to the bank in the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate and cars parked nearby were badly damaged. TV footage showed the bank floor torn apart, exposing twisted iron bars.
“So far 15 people have died and 16 have been injured in hospital,” Karachi administrator Murtaza Wahab said in a tweet.
Another senior police officer, Sharjeel Kharal, told reporters it was not immediately clear how many people were killed or injured in the blast as the bank was only understaffed on Saturday. –Agencies