Blast devastates shopping mall in Gulberg

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Three men were injured in a blast which occurred at a recently built three-storey shopping mall near Hussain Chowk in Gulberg on Friday.
According to eye witnesses, India-Pakistan Dosti Bus was passing by the venue when the blast occurred. The bus passengers also witnessed the explosion in the plaza which was scheduled to be launched on Friday night.
Plaza’s security guard Nadeem Ashraf told Pakistan Today that he was outside the plaza watching the Dosti Bus pass by that the explosion occurred. Resultantly, he was injured along with two other men identified as Saleem and Waqas.
Sources in the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) told Pakistan Today that the plaza was illegally supplied gas from an adjacent house. “Recently installed glass windows and doors without the arrangement of an adequate air ventilating system enabled the gas to gather up inside the hall which later blew up owing to short circuiting,” he said seeking anonymity and added that further investigations are underway.
Liberty Police Station SHO Amir Sheikh told Pakistan Today that the reason behind the explosion has been reported to be an explosion in the gas boiler.
According to a police source, the explosion could have occurred owing to a cracker, however the exact nature of the blast can only be found out after detailed investigations.
According to senior police officers including DIG Operation Tahir Rai, Model Town SP Tariq Aziz and Gulberg ASP Zahid Nawaz, the plaza is owned by Punjab Police DIG Amir who is currently deputed in Multan, however the Liberty Police Station SHO reports that the plaza is not owned by DIG Amir rather his brother Jahanzaib Mehmood.
The policemen, rescue teams and Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) reached the spot after the news broke. Window panes of adjacent buildings were shattered while the vehicles parked by the center were also damaged as a result of the explosion. Two cars were severely damaged under the debris.
Lahore DCO has taken notice of the incident and further investigations are underway for detecting the exact nature of the blast and center’s safety and security arrangements.