Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 12:29 UK

Eyewitnesses: 'Everything shattered'

After a powerful car bomb exploded in the Pakistani city of Lahore, people in the vicinity of the blast told the BBC News website how the assault began and described the chaos and confusion that followed.

Sibtain Akhtar Bukhari, Advocate

Pakistani security officials and volunteers gather in front of the destroyed police emergency response office building  - May 27
The blast destroyed a police emergency response building
I was going to my office with my son. When we reached the signal near the Rescue 15 [police emergency] building we saw a young man wearing a shirt and pants firing at the police building with an automatic weapon.

My son said: "This is a terrorist attack, let's get out of here."

We immediately got out of our car and ran to a nearby building to take cover. At this moment, the terrorists started firing at the common people.

We had just entered the building when a huge explosion took place. It felt like an earthquake had just happened. After this, clouds of smoke, dust and mud were everywhere.

My son saw four terrorists carrying out the attack, but I saw just one. My hand was wounded, but we stayed in the building until half an hour after the attack.

An ISI (Pakistan's intelligence agency) official who wished to remain anonymous described how the attackers struck.

A van stopped in front of the checkpoint outside the ISI offices and the Rescue 15 building.
There is a 15ft deep crater where the explosion took place. Our building was heavily damaged...

Four men got out and started firing at the police constables on guard duty. They then started firing at the building but were prevented from entering by other police personnel.

At that point the vehicle blew up. There is a 15ft deep crater where the explosion took place. Our building was heavily damaged, while the 15 building was completely destroyed and the office of Lahore's CCPO (police chief) was also partially destroyed.

One of our officers was martyred while several others have been injured. Most of the wounds were caused by glass and flying shrapnel.

Sultan, an employee in a nearby petrol station said some of his colleagues were hurt in the blast.

An armoured car had arrived to take cash from the station to the bank. Our employer was inside counting the cash, while I was standing outside.

All of a sudden, a huge explosion happened and destroyed the roof of the petrol station. All around there was smoke and dust. Some of our employees and our employer were hurt.

After the explosion, we were shell shocked and everybody ran for their lives.

Amir Ali works just 30 yards from the blast site.

Around 10am I heard a small explosion and moments later a huge blast took place.

All the glass windows in my office were broken and I was slightly injured. After the explosion the entire area was engulfed in clouds of smoke.

The windows in all the surrounding buildings were also broken and even the doors and shutters of some of the shops were destroyed.

There were car showrooms right across from the site of the blast, and a number of vehicles there have been damaged.

Soon after the blast, rescue teams arrived on the scene and shifted the dead and wounded to nearby hospitals.

Zubair's office, a short distance from the blast site, was partially destroyed by the force of the explosion.

All the windows shattered and the pieces fell to the floor as the blast happened.

People were running around outside because of the gunfire

We all ran outside the building and there were sounds of gunfire. We were so scared. There is a garden right next to our office so we immediately went to the garden and hid ourselves there to escape the gunfire. It seemed to be very close by. We didn't see any gunmen - we ran to hide.

The ceiling on our top floor was partially collapsed and all the glass in the building, everything was shattered. The walls had cracks in them. It was terrible.

Because of the way the road curves we couldn't see the blast site itself but there was a circular cloud of smoke above the site.

People were running around outside because of the gunfire. They were running away from the scene because it all seemed so close.

Matthias Gattermeier describes the chaos amid the dust and smoke in the immediate aftermath of the blast.

The blast completely shook our office building. There is another building in front of us and the force was so great we thought that building had been blown up.

We went outside and saw a massive white ring of smoke in the sky. Within minutes there were police, all the streets were blocked and emergency vehicles were coming in.

People close by just ran away, others were heading towards the scene. No-one knew exactly where it happened because there was so much dust and smoke in the air that it covered the whole region.

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