The sister of two Preston women killed by a gas leak in Pakistan has slammed social media speculation that they were the victims of an honour killing.
Suria Rehman said her parents were devastated after finding Maria, 25, and 17-year-old Nadia unconscious on the bathroom floor during a visit to relatives in the village of Daulat Nagar.
Both women died in hospital despite efforts by medics to save them. Police later confirmed the deaths were due to a leaking gas heater and insisted there were no suspicious circumstances.
But back in the UK, Suria attacked rumours on Facebook which she said had been hurtful to the family.
“They don’t have a clue what my parents are going through,” she told the BBC. “People thinking they have been murdered . . . they should see my parents. They are like living dead bodies.”
Maria, who was a model, and her student sister Nadia had travelled to the Gujrat region of Pakistan with parents Abdul and Zarina Rehman to attend a family service on the anniversary of their grandfather’s death.
The women were found in the bathroom of the house they were staying in after having a morning shower together. Suria said she had spoken to them only hours earlier.
“It’s really hard considering we’ve all grown up together and done everything together. But it’s even harder when people keep asking the same question ‘what has happened’ and continually being pestered by the same thing.
"And then in the news there are things that don’t even make sense. It was a gas leak. We have received the post mortem reports and we have got their death certificates now.
“Even now I can’t believe all this has happened.”
Suria, who is expecting a baby in March, added: “I hope my child is something that will bring my parents some sort of peace - but it’s never going to happen.”