KASUR-Lack of burn unit facility in the state-run hospitals of Kasur and Lahore claimed the lives of four women of a family as they could not be provided with treatment after they were critically injured in a cylinder blast took place in their home.

According to Rescue 1122, a substandard gas cylinder caught fire when Bao Ahsan Ali's nine-year-old daughter Tayyaba attempted to light it in the kitchen of her house located in the suburban village Manwala. Listening to her screams, as soon as her mother, sister and her cousin rushed to the kitchen to extinguish the fire, the cylinder blasted and the fire engulfed all of them.

On information, Rescue 1122 reached the spot in no time and overcome the fire after the hectic struggle of one and half hour but the tragedy left the woman and minor girls with critical burns.

They were rushed to DHQ Hospital but the staff there referred them to Jinnah Hospital Lahore due to lack of burn facilities. As they were shifted to Jinnah Hospital, the staff denied to admit them to the hospital, saying that they had no facilities to treat such severely burnt patients.

They asked the rescuers to take them to Myo Hospital Lahore. Travelling from one hospital to other, the poor woman namely Rabia Bibi succumbed to her burns on the way to Myo Hospital. After six days of her death, her nine and three-year-old daughters, Tayyiba and Areeba, and her eight-year-old niece Laiba also died in Myo Hospital.

Aggrieved father of the deceased girls, Rao Ahsan Ali, has become mentally retarded due to the tragedy. "My family cannot come back but the district administration should take steps to stop the sale of such gas cylinders and also provide facilities in the hospitals to treat burn patients so that the lives of others could be saved," he said.

Malik Hadayat Ali, grandfather of the girls, told this correspondent that no representative of the government has yet visited their house to sympathise with them. He said that the district administration should have taken action against the manufacturers and sellers of substandard gas cylinders and also seal the shops where substandard cylinders are sold.

"But such cylinders are overtly being sold even in the main markets of the district which is a proof of unconsciousness of district administration," he regretted.

When contacted, DCO Ammara Khan did not attend the call even after repeated attempts.