The International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi, has told the government that the problem of breathing Kemari residents may be due to 'soybean dust'.
The letter written by Director ICCBS Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry to Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shawlani stated that blood and urine samples of the affected persons in the laboratory, as well as samples of soybean dust obtained from the area, concerned reviewed.
It is understood that the death toll due to the alleged poisonous gas emissions has increased to 14 and the number of victims has reached close to 400 which are undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the city.
The Health Department of Sindh confirmed 14 deaths and said that 9 people died in Ziauddin Hospital, 2 Civil Hospital, 2 Katiana Memon Hospital and one Burhani Hospital.
Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry said that 'ICCBS is still trying to find out the cause of the poisonous gas and so far, the residents of Kemari have been affected by the soybean dust.
The laboratory suggested hospitals should give bronchodilators and anti-allergic medicines to the affected people, as well as the ICCBS has said that care must be taken when removing the soybeans from the container.
Considered ICCBS is a modern scientific research institute based in Karachi, Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Hussein Ibrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry are also part of this research.
Earlier, speaking to Dawn, the head of the Edhi Foundation, Faisal Edhi, said that 'particles of fine dust' were also dropped when removing soybeans and that may have been due to complaints from residents.
Faisal Edhi had said, "If more cases come out tonight, that means there may be some other reason, not soybeans container".
So far, all the people affected by poisonous gas are from Kamari. However, a resident of Lamarket was shifted to the hospital, after which it was raised concerns that the gas would not be restricted.
Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shalwani expressed similar concerns.
Public Health Officer of Sindh Sindh Public Relations Officer Marine Yusuf said that an affected citizen in Lamarket works at the port.
He said that the government would take precautionary measures in this regard.
Authorities were attracted when the victims of the mysterious gas emission were shifted to the hospital two days ago in Kemari, but authorities are still unable to ascertain the motive.
Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shalwani informed the Sindh cabinet yesterday that the vessel that had taken off soybeans or similar material could be a possible cause of poisonous gas.
He said that "when the cargo is stopped, the gas is reduced."
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah had yesterday directed authorities to move people from the affected area to another location.