Lahore: At least two people were killed and 17 injured in a blast near a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday, a police officer confirmed to Ary news.
Speaking to Samaa TV at the site of the incident, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Mudassir Riaz Malik said that the incident happened in Johar town. He said that the injured also included a police official, Dawn reported.
He said that while it was not immediately clear what had caused the blast, it had left behind a crater. “We will only be able to determine the cause after carrying out an investigation,” he said, adding that the area was being cordoned off.
Speaking to Geo News, Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar stated that officials could not comment on whether the blast was targeting someone without carrying out an investigation.
TV footage showed the blast took place in a residential area, causing damage to nearby houses and shattering windows.
Speaking to Samaa TV, an eyewitness said that his house had been badly damaged. “It was constructed six years ago. We have no other place to go,” said the visibly distressed man. Another eyewitness claimed that a device planted on a motorcycle had detonated.
A spokesperson for Rescue 1122 said that it was not immediately clear what caused the blast. “So far we have not been able to determine whether a gas pipeline burst or whether it was a cylinder. But we have shifted four people (to the hospital) and more injuries are expected,” he said, reported Dawn.
Meanwhile, Punjab Province Chief Minister Usman Buzdar directed the IG to investigate the incident and submit a report. “Those responsible for the blast should be brought under the law,” he said.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid also directed the Punjab Province chief secretary and IG to submit a report.
Police and bomb disposal teams have reached the site, and the Lahore Deputy Commissioner has directed emergency wards at all hospitals to be on alert, reported the Pakistan daily, Dawn.