14 dead, hundreds sickened as mystery gas leak sweeps Karachi

Not only smog, but residents in Karachi now have to contend with a deadly gas leak. (Photo: Zameer.com)

Health officials in the southern port city of Karachi on Tuesday (Feb. 18) declared that 14 people have died and hundreds more are gravely ill following a gas leak on Sunday.

The gas leak triggered mass hysteria as authorities were initially unable to ascertain its source or type of gas involved, however, Pakistanis were assured that the incident was not being viewed as an act of sabotage.

The gas, which is apparently odourless gas, causes severe breathing problems, and sent residents of Karachi’s coastal neighbourhood of Kamari into a mad panic for medical attention since the leak and uncovered.

Zafar Mahdi, a senior health official, put the death toll at 14 on Tuesday.

Scientists and chemical experts from the Pakistani army and navy were deployed to the affected area to try to detect the source of the leak.

While authorities are still unable to determine what caused the gas leak, a full-scale evacuation of residents from Kamari to safer areas is being considered in the meantime.