“It’s all because of the damn cylinder,” said a 70-year-old woman sitting outside Civil Hospital, Karachi’s burns ward.
She is one of the dozens of women gathered outside the burns unit on the third floor of the hospital. They are all from the same family and the anxiety is evident from their faces. They are constantly praying, as they fear that their relatives might not make it.
Two women died and 22 others, including a five-year-old girl, were injured after a cylinder exploded inside a house in Shapak of Turbat on Friday.
The women had gathered at a house for a wedding. They were cooking when the cylinder exploded.
The severely injured were flown in a Navy aircraft to Karachi, over 400km away from Turbat, as there is not a single burns unit in the entire Makran division.
“Those who died were sisters,” she said, adding that they have no option but to use gas cylinders.
As the woman continue to talk, a man comes running up. “We don’t want to talk to anyone,” he said.
His anger is understandable as the head of the burns ward, Dr Ahmer, told SAMAA Digital that all five women are in critical condition because of severe burns and injuries caused by the blast. He said that two are on life-support and their survival chances are very low.
Five of the victims brought to Patel Hospital are also in critical condition.
Not the first time
This is not the first time women from Balochistan have paid a price for not having gas connections.
Speaking to SAMAA Digital, Kech District Deputy Commissioner Bashir Ahmad said that this is the fourth incident in the last three months. Most of the time women are victims. People are forced to use LPG cylinders smuggled from Iran as natural gas is not available in the entire Makran Division.