Islamist Blast at refueling station at Faisalabad kills at least 22 in Pakistan, wounded another 100
Three buildings and 10 cars have also been destroyed by the explosion.
An office of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and a local gas station were severely damaged in the blast, AP reported.
Senior government official Naseem Sadiq said explosives were planted in a vehicle parked at the gas station, which also lies near police offices as well as the PIA building.
Regional police chief Aftab Cheema confirmed the attack in Faisalabad, the country’s textile-making capital.
“It was a car bomb blast. The explosive was planted in a car. We are investigating whether a suicide bomber was involved or not,” Cheema said.
Television pictures showed the station had been reduced to a pile of bricks and gnarled metal as rescue officials worked to remove rubble from the scene to search for survivors and ambulance vehicles ferried the injured away.
City commissioner Tahir Husain told a private television channel that rescue officials were heaving bricks and metal away to save those trapped.
“There are some people trapped under the building rubble. We have deployed our cranes and machinery to rescue them very soon,” he added.
Husain told a private television channel that no suicide attacker was involved.
“It was not a suicide attack. It was a planted bomb blast. The bomb exploded near the gas cylinders that triggered a bigger blast,” he said.
Husain said that the attack could have targeted government buildings close to the gas station site, some of which he said were damaged in the blast.
Pakistan has been wracked by violence, mostly targeting security officials.
Some 4,000 people have been killed in bomb blasts, suicide and gun attacks blamed on Taliban and al Qaeda fighters since July 2007.
#Alerpak# observs that a large crater at the blast site suggested the explosion was caused by a device planted at the pump, he said. And when it went off, it triggered a second explosion at the gas station, he said.
The station is located close to several government buildings, he said. A building belonging to the intelligence agency was not damaged, but the offices of Pakistan International Airlines partially collapsed.
Though Tahir Hussain, commissioner of Faisalabad put the death toll at 15 and the number of wounded at 85, but said people were believed trapped under the rubble of the collapsed building and the toll may be higher in reality.
Pakistan has the highest number of vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as the most refueling stations in the world, according to December 2009 figures from the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles.
The New Zealand-based trade group placed the number of CNG stations in Pakistan at 3,068.
Tahir Hussain, commissioner of Faisalabad — where the blast occurred — called it an act of heinous terrorism.
Talibans are now attacking the business holds of the Hindu, Sikh and Christian groups as a certain plan to remove them from Pakistan economy.
Courtesy : Dawn|| CNN || Reuters.
Tags: 20 lives in Faisalabad CNG refueling station, bomb blast by Islamic militants, Faisalabad, heinous terrorism, Pakistan economy, Pre-planned Islamic attacks on the business holds, Pre-planned Islamic attacks on the business of minorities in Pakistan