13 killed in Pakistan gas station blast

2011-03-08 10:00

Islamabad - A massive blast at a gas station in Pakistan's central Punjab province on Tuesday killed 13 people and injured 35 others, officials said.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known.

"The blast took place at a CNG (compressed natural gas) pump. Thirteen people were killed and 35 others were injured. At the moment we can't say anything about the nature of the blast," Nasim Sadiq told Express 24/7 television.

Commissioner of Faisalabad city, Pakistan's textile capital where the blast took place, confirmed the toll.

"We have taken out around 13 bodies from the blast site," commissioner Tahir Husain told private Geo television.

"There are some people trapped under the building rubble. We have deployed our cranes and machinery to rescue them very soon," he added.

Husain said the "probability is very strong" that the blast was caused by a militant attack but cautioned that investigations were "still in the formative phase. We will be able to say something after investigations," he 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.

Rescue official Mohammad Asif confirmed the details of the incident and put the toll of injured higher.

"We have shifted 13 dead bodies and 53 injured to the hospital," he told AFP by telephone.