Four people, including an old woman, died, while 15 others were unconscious after inhaling toxic gases in the Keamari area on Sunday night, police said.
The DIG of the South Zone Sharjeel Kharal said that a total of 19 people, all residents of the Jackson market and adjacent Keamari areas, lost consciousness. They were transferred to a nearby private hospital in Clifton, where four of the victims died during treatment.
The officer said the remaining 15 people were being treated at the facility, all of whom had regained consciousness and their health was improving.
Regarding the possible cause of the incident, the DIG said the initial investigation suggested that a ship had reached the port, which was near Jackson’s market. According to reports, the ship was carrying vegetables and when the container was opened, fumes emanated, which caused respiratory problems for residents of the area.
The DIG added that the police were still investigating the incident.
DIG Kharal said he had also spoken with the Karachi commissioner, Iftikhar Shallwani, who had approached the Karachi Port Trust and the Pakistan Navy authorities.
A team made up of KPT officials, the Pakistan Navy, the Western Subcommittee’s office, the health department and the local police were sent to the affected area, he added.