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Poisonous gas claims four lives, faints many in Karachi’s Kemari area

At least four persons including two elderly women have died and 15 others were left unconscious after inhaling poisonous gas in the Kemari area late on Sunday night, reports claimed.

According to South Zone police reports, all the 19 persons were residents of the Jackson market and adjacent areas of Kemari who lost consciousness.

According to DIG Sharjeel Kharal, the affected people have been taken to a nearby private hospital in Clifton, where four of them died under treatment.

Kharal said that the 15 persons who are being treated at the hospital, have regained consciousness adding that their health is improving gradually.

The DIG further said that an initial investigation suggested that a ship which was arrived at the Kemari port, can be the possible cause of the poisonous gas been spread in the area.

The ship was reportedly carrying vegetables and when the container was opened, gases sprang from it causing the casualties in the area. Residents have also complained about breathing problems amid the incident.

However, Karachi Port Trust’s spokes person denied the initial claims saying that reports relating to the gas being released by a recent ship that anchored down at the port were untrue.

He also revealed that persons affected by the gas were picked up from the road after their health worsened.

The spokesperson further said that there was no report thus far of such a poisonous gaseous presence at the port.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has condoled the deaths occurred due to the poisonous gas release. He ordered the Commissioner of Karachi police to report on the matter on a priority basis.

CM Sindh also issued directives to ensure the best healthcare facilities to the affected persons.

Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi while learning about the incident has ordered the authorities to investigate the cause of the sad matter.

“Shocked to hear about the loss of life due to poisonous gases in Kemari. Although the incident is not in the port, KPT officials have been dispatched to investigate the root cause. I request everyone to refrain from making any comments on the media till we have the facts on hand,” he tweeted.

He went on to write, “I have directed KPT to investigate & establish facts. Meanwhile, KPT has also been directed to treat the patients at the KPT hospital in Kemari. Rest assured, details of the sad incident will be shared in due course & those responsible will be dealt with severely”.

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