NACC judge to head probe into Gayal blast
By Ibrahim Shahid
GILGIT: The Northern Areas Chief Court (NACC) chairmen, Justice Muzaffar Malik, has nominated an NACC judge as the inquiry officer to probe the accidental explosives blast in Gayal village of Diamer district, which claimed the lives of at least 47 people on August 2.
The NACC judge, Raja Jalaluddin, has been instructed to submit his findings to the Northern Areas chief secretary by August 15, 2003.
Earlier, the Northern Areas Home Department had requested the NACC chairman to appoint the Diamer district and sessions judge as the inquiry officer. “But keeping in view the gravity of the incident, the chairmen nominated a judge of the chief court,” sources said.
The blast razed dozens of homes in Gayal village, after dynamite sticks, detonators and other blasting material stored in a building contractor’s house blew up.
Police said a short circuit started a fire in the builder’s house and while scores of villagers had been trying to tame the flames, the blaze set off the explosives.
The ensuing blast destroyed some 50 houses and damaged another 100 in a radius of around 1.5 km, officials said.
The builder, Waris Khan, who had been awarded an irrigation channel contract, had planned to use the material to blast rocks to make a water course. Investigators were still trying to determine whether the builder who also died in the explosion, was legally storing the explosives. The contractor’s son and daughter were among those killed in the powerful blast.
The tragedy left scores of people homeless in Gayal village, located in a narrow valley and home to some 3,000 people.
Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Muhammad Nasir Khan visited the blast victims at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Wednesday, APP reported.
He said the government was extending the best medical facilities and every possible help to the blast victims.