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Death toll in Karachi gas leak rises to 14

ANI | Updated: Feb 18, 2020 22:50 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb 18 (ANI): The source of a toxic gas leak in Karachi's Keamari area remained unclear on Tuesday as officials from the Sindh health department confirmed that the death toll rose to 14, two days after residents from adjoining areas rushed to hospitals after complaining of breathing difficulties.
Meanwhile, dozens of protesters, belonging to residential localities close to the affected area, gathered in Keamari's Jackson Market, demanding answers from authorities on the deaths that have been caused from the mysterious gas, The Dawn reported.
Addressing a press conference along with Sindh Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah today, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani was quoted as saying that multiple theories were being considered but the source of the gas and its nature was still unknown so far.
"An investigation into the matter was still underway," the commissioner added.
Dr Ziauddin Hospital spokesperson Amir Shehzad told the Pakistani media outlet that nine deaths took place at the hospital's Keamari Campus over the last two days. According to police, two other deaths were reported at Kutiyana Hospital.
Meanwhile, officials from the Sindh health department stated that two more deaths were reported at Civil Hospital Karachi while one more was reported at Burhani Hospital.
Shehzad said that approximately 300 patients had been brought to the hospital so far. He said that most patients were released after being treated, adding that five patients had been admitted to the intensive-care unit (ICU) whose conditions were also improving.
The patients had shown symptoms of difficulty breathing, dizziness while some were also throwing up.
Authorities were alerted to the incident when people in the Keamari area began rushing to nearby hospitals with severe breathing problems on Sunday night. The concerned authorities were not sure about the exact cause of the incident.
An initial investigation into the incident by Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) on Monday showed that toxic gas had leaked from the terminal storing crude oil and petroleum products located within the residential areas.
Karachi Port Trust (KPT) chairman Jamil Akhter has said that the Pakistan Navy had taken some samples and hoped that the report will be received soon. (ANI)