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148 Burnt to Death in Oil Tanker Explosion (Photo)

At least 148 people were killed as they rushed to collect spilled fuel after an oil tanker overturned and exploded in Pakistan, rescue workers have said.

Some 140 more people were wounded, including 40 in critical condition, said Mohammad Baqar, an official with local rescue services, adding that the toll was expected to rise.

The tanker overturned after trying to make a sharp turn on a national highway on the outskirts of the city of Bahawalpur.

It was driving from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the Punjab provincial capital, when the driver lost control and crashed.

“People of the area and passersby had started gathering fuel when the tanker exploded, burning everybody on and around the spot,” provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan told Reuters.

Serious burn victims, several in critical condition, were airlifted by helicopter to hospitals in Bahawalpur and nearby cities for treatment.

Witnesses said about 30 motorcycles that had carried villagers to the accident site lay in charred ruins nearby. Eight other vehicles were destroyed, they added.

“According to the initial reports, somebody tried to light a cigarette, and the spilt fuel caught fire, leading to the tanker’s explosion,” said Jam Sajjad Hussain, a spokesperson for the rescue workers service .

Residents were told of the leaking fuel over a loudspeaker on top of the local mosque, said Rana Mohammad Salim, deputy commissioner of Bahawalpur.

Mr Salim said some of the seriously injured have been moved to Multan. The dead included men, women and children, he said. Many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, said Rizwan Naseer, head of Punjab province’s rescue services.

The death toll is likely to rise, he added.

Imran Shah, a spokesperson for the highway police, told a local TV channel police moved quickly to redirect traffic but could not stop the scores of villagers who raced to collect the fuel.

Firefighters fought the flames for over two hours before extinguishing the fire.

Credit: Independent
148 Burnt to Death in Oil Tanker Explosion (Photo) 148 Burnt to Death in Oil Tanker Explosion (Photo) Reviewed by Thank God on 6/26/2017 Rating: 5

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