LAHORE: Panic and fear persisted on Thursday in the city after a bomb blast at a famous commercial market in Z Block of the Defence Housing Authority. The tragic incident was followed by a blast hoax at Gulberg which further spread panic among Lahoris. People at their offices, homes and localities remain confused and the situation. They called their friends, family members and relatives to ask if they were safe. They also barred each other from travelling and visiting commercial areas. Following the bomb blast, schools located in the DHA were immediately shut down by management and parents were asked to pick up their children from schools at their own. All markets in the DHA and surrounding areas were also closed down. Similarly, the offices located in all commercial areas of DHA were also closed and people reached their homes soon after the blast. Locate not so far away from the blast site the Beaconhouse School and Ibn-e-Seena College were evacuated immediately after the blast as the management of both institutions asked parents through SMS and telephone calls to receive their children from schools at their own. The Defence College for Girls, Women Degree College Defence and the Lahore Grammar School were also closed down after the blast. “As I got the wind of the blast, I reached the school to pick up my nine-year-old son,” a father of a student told Daily Times. He was of the view the school managements had taken a wise decision to send children back to their homes after the tragic incident. Meanwhile, the Traders Association also announced that all markets and commercial areas located in DHA will remain closed on Thursday and commercial activities were suspended for the day. People at their offices left for homes soon after the news of blast spread, however, in the evening, the area was presenting deserted look as people preferred to remain at their homes. Zameer, a shopkeeper at DHA’s Y Block Market, was of the view that it was a good decision to keep markets and commercial areas closed as terrorist might hit more places. He said that there was fear among people and they might not visit markets for the next two three days. “But I am hopeful that Lahoris will defeat terrorists as they have done in the past,” he said. A similar situation was also observed in the Gulberg area where a fake call of a blast near the Government Home Economics College prompted security officials to reach the site. Public and private schools in the area were also closed down and parents reached schools to pick up their children. A massive traffic jam was also observed on major roads of Gulberg as people started reaching their homes after the blast rumors. Meanwhile, the commercial areas of Gulberg, including MM Alam Road, Liberty Market, Main Market, Mini Market and Firdous Market were also shut down. The DHA Education System has announced that all educational institution will be opened on Friday. The All Pakistan School Owners Association has also announced to keep their member schools open in DHA, Gulberg and other areas.