A blast in the upscale Defence Housing Authority (DHA) of Lahore that claimed at least eight lives and injured 30 people was finally confirmed as an accident ruling out any chance of terrorism.

Addressing a press conference late on Friday morning Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah confirmed no traces of explosives were found from the site of the explosion, adding it was likely the result of a gas leak and not an act of terrorism. He added that until the investigation is completed a definitive cause of the explosion cannot be declared.

Till late on Thursday, officials were unclear whether the explosion was the result of an attack.

Panic gripped the area a little before noon on Thursday when the loud explosion resonated across Z-Block. The area in the upscale DHA locality is a popular shopping centre with several restaurants.

The blast took place inside an under-construction building. DIG Operations Haider Ashraf said labourers were present inside when the explosion took place. An entire floor of the building collapsed because of the blast. Four cars and 12 motorcycles were also damaged, while the windows of nearby buildings were shattered.

Those injured were taken to Lahore General Hospital where an emergency was declared. According to Punjab Health Minister Salman Rafiq, four of the injured were in critical condition.

Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif ordered an investigation of the blast and summoned a report from the inspector general of police.

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