Over 120 people killed as oil tanker explodes in Pakistan

Claudine Rigal
Juin 25, 2017

No less than 148 persons have been feared dead with another 130 injured on Sunday morning after an overturned oil tanker caught fire in eastern Pakistan.

Dr Naseer also warned the death toll was likely to rise.

People in the area had gathered to collect fuel that was leaking from the oil tanker after it toppled over. The blaze spread to dozens of vehicles, including 75 motorcycles and four cars.

The villagers rushed to the scene with containers to collect oil, according to Mohammad Akhtar, a police official with the city of Bahawalpur, who told CNN.

"I parked my bike by the road and waited while my friend went to collect the fuel", said Rashid, who had burns on his hand and a leg.

The district management chief further said that soon after, a huge fire erupted in the oil tanker which engulfed hundreds of people engaged in collecting oil.

"(An) emergency has been declared in the hospital and we are treating the patients.

Afzal said women and children were among the victims. The explosion left most of the bodies charred beyond recognition. Some of the most badly burned were evacuated by army helicopters to Multan, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) away.

Numerous bodies were burned beyond recognition, said Naseer.

Officials said numerous victims - including children - were burnt beyond recognition and that DNA tests were being carried out to identify the dead, adding that the number of fatalities was likely to rise. "They were screaming for help", said Abdul Malik, one of the first police officers to arrive at the scene.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan's military, said 51 people with serious burns and in critical condition have been transported by army helicopters to the city of Multan.

Local police said initial investigation suggested that the fire was triggered after someone on the spot lit a cigarette.

"Someone should tell me about my beloved sons, where are they?"

The deadly explosion came on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, as families were celebrating the end of Ramadan.

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