Seven persons sustained serious burn injuries in a cylinder blast at Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) decanting shop during illegal refilling of gas cylinders on Wednesday.

The incident took place at Waseem Chand Gas Point, located at Andhey Wali Pull, Block No. 7 Road within the limits of Police Station City DG Khan in which the customers and locals suffered injuries.

District Emergency Officer Dr Natiq Hayat said that five injured were shifted to Trauma Center Teaching Hospital DG Khan by rescuers while two other injured were shifted by locals. One of them has been referred to Nishtar Hospital Multan from DG Khan.

According to eyewitnesses, the owner of the shop was refilling the cylinder in his shop when it exploded with a big bang. This caused a huge fire that also engulfed nearby shops. The officials of Rescue 1122 reached the spot and put out the fire.

Victims were identified as Ali who burnt 70%, Raifullah 35%, Faheem 35%, Raju 35% and Ramzan burnt 30%.

Talking to The Nation, locals Shahid, Hameed and many others residents of the area protested against the district government as well as police for letting gas filling shops operate in the busy and crowded bazaar even mid of city, despite clear ban on this illegal business.

They demanded Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and IG Police Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera to take stern action against high-ups of district government and concerned police officers for closing their eyes towards this ongoing illegal business. When contacted, District Officer Civil Defence Shabir Ahmed Qazi said that action has been taken against the shopkeeper and a case has been registered under PPC section 285 and 286. A crackdown drive has been started against all illegal gas refilling agencies/shopkeeper in the district. On a question, Qazi told that negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter under section 285,286 Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) is bailable and accused could be punished with imprisonment of six months or three thousands rupees or with both.

New legislation to enhance the punishment is required to stop this illegal practice.

It is notable that The Nation has already published news to highlight sensitivity of this issue on August, 27, 2015 for district government along with Punjab Police.