LAHORE  - Four children of a family were killed while their mother wounded seriously in a gas-cylinder blast at their house in Hassan Town last night.

The entire building caught fire soon after the gas cylinder exploded inside its kitchen.

Eight-year-old Muhammad Usman, six-year-old Hannan, and three-year-old Arslan died on the spot. However, their mother and one and a half year old sister Safeena were rushed to Jinnah Hospital where the girl expired later.

The condition of the ill-fated mother was said to be serious.

An eyewitness described the explosion as very powerful saying that initially they thought it was a bomb blast. “It was a very powerful explosion. We immediately rushed to the site to know what happened,” Muhammad Aslam, a resident of Hassan Town said. Locals tried to put out the blaze but it spread to the entire building within minutes. Rescue workers were called in to control the fire. “I saw rescuers were shifting burnt bodies of four children in ambulances,” Aslam said.

Police sources said the children were playing in the house when the gas-cylinder exploded because of gas-leakage. The mother was cooking meal when the tragedy struck the family Wednesday night. Police and rescue workers were busy in search operation at the site till filing of this report.

Rescue workers said that four children sustained multiple injuries when a gas-cylinder exploded in the house located in Sabzazar police precincts. They were shifted to the Jinnah Hospital where they expired.

Last month, a four-year-old boy, two youngsters, and a seventy-year-old handicapped woman were among six people killed in a house fire in the walled city. Another four people including a six-month baby were rescued by locals during the search and rescue operation.

All the family members were asleep when huge fire broke out in the second floor of the four-storey building at 02:35am.

Authorities have time and again made appeal to consumer for adopting pre-cautionary measure for the use of gas cylinders and other such equipments to avert untoward incident. Such carelessness can cause calamity. The gas companies have also launch publicity campaign through media to avert gas leak.