LAHORE  - A teenage boy was burnt and four shops caught fire following a gas-cylinder blast in an old building near Bhati Chowk yesterday.

Rescue workers identified the only victim as 15-year-old Tajammal, who is in hospital with multiple burns. Goods and valuables worth hundreds of thousands of rupees were reduced to ashes as fire spread speedily.

Panic gripped the Walled City yesterday evening as truckers and shopkeepers rushed to safe places soon after the blast which shook the Sharqpur wagon-stand in the densely populated locality.

One of the firefighters told reporters that the gas-cylinder exploded inside a tea- stall. After the blast, the small tea shop caught fire which spread to nearby shops within minutes.

Several firefighters rushed to the site and managed to put out the blaze after hectic efforts. Police also reached the spot to help rescuers launch search and rescue operation.

An official said yesterday night the police were investigating the incident.