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A woman who suffers from respiratory problem after a toxic gas leak, is rushed to a hospital by family members in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. A toxic gas leak killed five people and sickened dozens of others in a coastal residential area in Pakistan's port city of Karachi, police said Monday. The source of the leak, which occurred on Sunday night, and the type of gas that had leaked were not immediately known. On Tuesday some residents are still having breathing problems. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: The Karachi Metropolitan commissioner on Thursday forwarded a report on Keamari toxic gas issue to Sindh Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah stating that cause of deaths from poisonous gas in Keamari area of the city could not be ascertained.

So far, 10 deaths have been reported while around 200 hospitalised in Sunday’s gas leak incident. It’s five days since the tragedy, but both the provincial and the federal governments have not yet reached any conclusion with regard to its cause.

In the report, the commissioner has stated that the particles of soybean dust were found in the blood samples of the victims and told the provincial chief minister that the vessel containing soybean has been directed to keep at a safe distance from the port.

He also suggested postponing the offloading of the soybean at Karachi Port.

Soybean imported from the United States was not sprayed with pesticides before offloading, Director General Plant Protection Dr Falak Naz has been quoted in the report.

Although a report has been submitted with the chief minister’s office, confusion continued to prevail over the Keamari incident as authorities are waiting for reports of a forensic probe as well as chemical examinations to ascertain the exact cause of the mysterious incident that officials said claimed lives of 10 people.

Meanwhile, Keamari is struggling back to normality as commercial activities resumed including the most affected Jackson Market adjacent to the port that had been in the grip of fear and panic for the past three days.

Educational institutions in the area also opened after a break of two days. However, people are still seen adopting precautionary measures as they continued to wear masks.

According to Global Environmental Laboratory, which had conducted air quality monitoring survey on behalf of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, air quality was improving in Keamari.

A statement issued by the office of the commissioner said that the condition of Keamari and adjoining areas remained under control as no death and sickness cases was reported on Wednesday.

It said 35 minor cases of eye itching, abnormal breathing etc were reported and all of them were discharged after first aid.

“From the inception of the gas leakage incident at Keamari, 10 people have so far reported dead and 300 persons were admitted to different hospitals for their treatment,” it said.