20 dead, nearly 200 wounded in Kabul fires

20 dead, nearly 200 wounded in Kabul fires

At least 20 people died and more than 180 others were injured in two deadly fires in the Afghan capital, the authorities said on Thursday.

A huge fire erupted following a blast at a propane gas reservoir at an industrial park in the Pakita Kot area of eastern Kabul on Wednesday. At least 17 people were killed and 155 hospitalised till Thursday, said the police. The toll could go up as 20 severely burnt remain in critical condition, the police said.

The fire damaged several buildings and residential houses in the area. Several oil and gas tanker trucks parked nearby also caught fire.

Investigation is underway, but the police have ruled out terrorist activities. An electrical short circuit is believed to be the cause of the explosion in the gas reservoir.

In another incident, a gas cylinder explosion caused another fire at a five-storey building that houses several pharmaceutical companies in Khair Khana area in Kabul, leaving three people dead and around 30 injured.

Though the police said the fire was caused by a gas cylinder explosion, the affected shop owners claimed it was due to a bomb planted in the building. The blast damaged seven vehicles and smashed window panes in nearby buildings.

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