Toxic Gasses Declared Responsible for Deaths in Keamari


by Hamna Bano

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KARACHI: A medical board was constituted by the health department to find the causes of deaths in Keamari in January, and has come to the conclusion that the release of toxic gasses is the main reason behind deaths, Wednesday.

These glasses have been emitted by a nearby illegal industrial area. Back in January, a claim was made that a measles outbreak has been suspected in Keamari after the increase in the death toll.  

This conclusion was drawn on the basis of the findings of histopathology, virology, and toxicology. The medical board performed post-mortems on eight bodies in the direction of the concerned judicial magistrate. 

Findings are highly suggestive that the manner of death was unnatural and factors like measles were less likely to contribute to the cause of death,” said the report reviewed by a private news channel. 


It was observed that 18 deaths of people from various age groups between two to four were reported from Mohammed Goth in Keamari between January 5 and 31 

Afterward, on February 1, the provincial government constituted a medical board and appointed Prof. Naseem Ahmed of Dow University of Health Sciences as its head. Other members included Dr. Azizullah Khan Dhloo of Civil Hospital Karachi, Police Surgeon Summaiya Syed, and Prof Makhdoom Pervez Ahmed of Jinnah Sindh Medical University.

The inquiry report added that “The causative factor for the death of people in the affected area due to this tragic incident was mainly environmental, possible due to releasing of some toxic/poisonous gasses from adjacent/neighboring illegal industrial area leading to acute lung injury and subsequent severe allergic reaction (allergic pneumonitis) complicated by respiratory distress leading to respiratory failure.”

So, the board ruled out the possibility that the deaths caused were due to measles. This was fairly said due to the absence of signs and symptoms of the disease.  

The board criticized the DHO of Keamari for being non-cooperative during the inquiry. So the final conclusion addressed by the medical board stated, “the death of the child occurred “due to acute-on-chronic inflammation of lungs/superimposed bacterial infection, leading to lung congestion.”