An explosion hit the Marriott Hotel in the central area of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Thursday, slightly injuring five people, but the government said it was not a terrorist attack.
“There is nothing to worry about. It is apparently a case of a short circuit. We are investigating,” Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said at the hotel.
“There is no evidence of any terrorist activity or any (bomb) blast,” he said.
Officials said the five injured people — two foreigners and three hotel employees — had been hospitalized.
Glass and other debris were blown out the front of the hotel and through the lobby by the blast, witnesses said.
There were 11 U.S. officials at the Marriott when the blast took place and one was slightly injured by flying glass, a U.S. official in Washington said.
The official said he did not know what had caused the blast but said had no reason to doubt a Pakistani official’s view that it did not appear terror-related and may have been caused by an electrical fault.
“One (U.S.) individual was slightly injured by flying glass. No hospitalization was required as far as I know,” the U.S. official said. “We don’t have anything on the cause of it ... or to contradict what the Pakistanis are saying right now.”
Hotel general manager Clive Webster said the blast could have been caused by an electrical problem.
“We are not entirely sure — it could have been an electrical fault,” he said. “We are waiting for the police report.”
Blood could be seen on the ground, and at least one man was carried out on a stretcher, but he was still alive.
After the blast, police moved people out of the lobby because of a suspicious bag.
Pakistan is an ally of Washington in President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism.