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Explosion at Shell station injures 14 in Karachi

Karachi, Dec. 3 (Reuters): A powerful accidental explosion at a compressed natural gas facility rocked a Shell petrol station in the Pakistani city of Karachi today, injuring at least 14 people, police said.

Tariq Jameel, a deputy inspector general of police, said the explosion was caused by a fault in the station’s gas facility. “It is not a bomb explosion,” he said. In one day in May, 19 small bombs exploded at Shell petrol stations and two at Caltex stations in the same posh defence housing authority neighbourhood of the port city.

No one claimed responsibility for those blasts that caused four minor injuries and little damage. Witnesses said today the roof of the petrol station had caved in after the blast, which also damaged a shop and overturned a car.

“The Shell petrol station has been badly damaged,” Jameel said. “I saw smoke billowing out of the petrol station,” Shuja Rizvi, a witness said. “Broken glass covers the road.”

Several people buried under the rubble were pulled out by rescue workers and taken to hospital but there were no reports of any deaths. Pakistan’s central bank has ordered local banks to freeze the accounts of three militant groups banned by the government last month under an anti-terrorism law.

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