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20 dead in Kabul propane fires

09 July 2012

At least 20 people were killed and more than 180 others were injured on July 4 in two deadly fires in the Afghan capital. The first saw a huge fire following a blast at a propane gas reservoir at an industrial park in the Pakita Kot area of eastern Kabul. Dozens of gas cylinders exploded as the fire spread through the facility.

The first blast at a propane storage facility resulted in at least 17 deaths
The first blast at a propane storage facility resulted in at least 17 deaths

The fire damaged several buildings and residential houses in the area. Several oil and gas tanker trucks parked nearby also caught fire. Investigations are underway, but police have ruled out terrorist activities, saying the most likely cause was an electrical short circuit.

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

Though 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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