A deadly explosion that killed 10 people in Lahore was “not an act of terrorism” and was caused by gas leakage, the government in Pakistan’s Punjab province said Friday. Ten people were killed and 30 others injured after the explosion hit a market in a posh locality in Lahore yesterday. Earlier, local police and administration officials had stated that explosion was caused by a “planted device”.
“Yesterday’s explosion was not an act of terrorism. Forensic experts have not found any explosive material from the site. It was an accident and caused by gas leakage,” Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told a news conference. Sanaullah further said a number of gas cylinders were present on the site and leakage has also been confirmed.
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“The explosion is caused by sub-standard gas cylinders. Police will take action against those who provided these cylinders,” he said. The Law Minister also blamed private TV channels for airing rumour of another blast in the Gulberg area that caused panic in the city. “I will request the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to take strict action against the TV channels for spreading rumour,” he said.
PEMRA has issued notices to 31 private TV channels for airing the blast rumour. To a question whether the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final will be held in Lahore on March 5, the Minister said, “We will decide about it.”
Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket board had said it would hold PSL final in Lahore come what may. Even Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa had assured provision of fool-proof security to PSL final in Lahore. Yesterday’s blast was second in Lahore in the last 10 days. During the last two weeks more than 100 people have been killed in series of terror attacks in the country.