Pakistan oil tanker fire: At least 149 killed, 117 injured in Bahawalpur

The tanker overturned and spilled oil on the road while trying to navigate a turn in Bahawalpur. A huge crowd gathered to collect the oil from the spillage before the tanker caught fire.  Several vehicles were damaged including six cars and 12 motorcycles.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 25, 2017 5:05 pm
Oil tanker overturned and caught fire in Bahawalpur city of Pakistan. Over 120 people have been reported to be dead.

At least 149 people were killed and 117 others injured in Pakistan’s Bahawalpur city on Sunday after an oil tanker burst into flames. Though the cause of the fire is yet to be officially confirmed, according to the Dawn, the tanker overturned and spilled oil while trying to navigate a turn in Bahawalpur’s Ahmed Pur Sharqia. A huge crowd gathered to collect the oil from the spillage before the tanker caught fire.

Several vehicles were damaged  in the fire, including six cars and 12 motorcycles. Fire and rescue teams immediately reached the accident site and doused the flames. The injured were transported to nearby medical aid centres and hospitals.

According to Al Jazeera, the tanker overturned on a major logistical route. The report said that bodies of many were charred beyond recognition. The death toll is expected to rise as the injured were also reported to be in a critical condition.

The Pakistani Army deployed air rescue teams to ferry the injured to hospitals. Pakistan’s DG Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted: “COAS expresses grief on losses in oil tanker incident. Directed provision of full assistance to civil admn in rescue/relief effort. Army Aviation helicopters sent for evacuation of casualties to hospitals / burn centres. Hospitals placed on high alert.”

The civil administration of Punjab also kicked into action with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordering his officials to file a report on the accident. The tanker was heading towards Lahore and was coming from the southern port town of Karachi in Sindh province, news agency Associated Press reported. Citing eyewitness reports, AP said that at least 30 motorcycles and eight vehicles were destroyed in the fire.

Pakistan’s Geo TV said that the traffic on the National Highway route has been suspended for now. The police has set up barricades and created diversions at several points for smooth flow of traffic.

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