At least 128 people were killed and over 100 others were injured after an oil tanker caught fire in Bahawalpur city of Pakistan’s Punjab state, Dawn reported. According to the Pakistani newspaper, the tanker caught fire Sunday morning after it overturned. Radio Pakistan reported that people gathered around the tanker to collect oil before the vehicle burst into blames. At least six cars and 12 motorcycles were damaged in the incident, Dawn reported.
Fire services reportedly arrived at the site shortly after the incident. Rescue operations are currently underway. The injured are being transferred to a nearby hospital.
Pakistan oil tanker fire highlights:
12: 00 pm: Pakistan’s Prime minister’s office said Punjab provincial government had been directed to provide full medical assistance to the injured victims.”Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has expressed deep grief over the heavy loss of life in the unfortunate accident of oil tanker fire at Ahmad Pur Sharqia, Bahawalpur,” the statement said.
11:40 am: Unconfirmed reports from DAWN says the death toll in the incident has reached 125. A video posted by DAWN showed civilians being transferred to local hospitals after the incident for medical treatment. Watch video below |
11: 35 am: The disaster has come a day before the Eid-al Fitr celebrations in Pakistan.
11:26 am: Shocking scenes after oil tanker caught fire in Bahawalpur city of Pakistan. Watch Video:
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) June 25, 2017
11:21 am: Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmad Khan said at least 123 people were killed and over 100 others injured in the explosion, news agency PTI reported.
11:20 am: Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, eldest daughter of former PM Benazir Bhutto and former President Asif Ali Zardari also expressed his condolences. “So disconnected as a nation -celebrating whilst 100s of our citizens mourn. No triumph this #Eid #Parachinar #Quetta #Bahawalpur #Pakistan,” she wrote.
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) June 25, 2017
11:15 am: Federal Minister for Water and Power & Defence, Pakistan, took to Twitter to express his grief over the incident. “Huge tragedy in Bhawalpur. ..very sad incident.. no words to express grief..Allah rehm Kare,” he said.
Huge tragedy in Bhawalpur. ..very sad incident.. no words to express grief..Allah rehm Kare
— Khawaja M. Asif (@KhawajaMAsif) June 25, 2017
11:10 am: According to Pakistan’s Geo TV, the traffic was suspended on the National Highway route after the incident. The police created diversions to control the traffic, with the help of motorway police, according to report. These diversions were created near Noorpur Nauranga and ahead of Dera Nawaz.
10: 57 am: According to AP, the tanker was on its way from southern port of Karachi to Lahore, when the driver of the vehicle lost control and crashed the vehicle. Eyewitnesses told AP that at least 30 motorcycles in the vicinity were lyign charred at the sight of the incident. Eight others vehicles were also destroyed, the witnesses added.
10:53 am: Rizwan Naseer, head of Punjab province’s rescue services told news agency AP that at least 122 people have died and 76 others have been injured. He also said the death toll is expected to rise as several injured patients are suffering serious burns.
10: 45 am: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and ordered government officials to file a report, according to reports.
10:42 am: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reportedly ordered army to assist civil administration in the rescue effort. Army helicopters were also employed, according to DAWN, to transport injured civilians to hospitals.
10: 40 am: Pakistan oil tanker catches fire. Watch Video below
10: 38 am: Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Gharoor said that he has put hospitals on high alert. In a series of tweet, he also expressed grief on behalf of COAS.
10: 35 am: According to reports, rescue officials said the injured civilians were admitted to District Headquarters Hospital and Bahawal Victoria Hospital.
10: 28 am: Unconfirmed reports from Dawn says 123 people have died in the fire. Deputy Commissioner Rana Mohammad Saleem Abdul gave the update to the Pakistani newspaper. Two fire engines battles the fire and took control over it, the newspaper further reported.
10:25 am: Dr. Rizwan Naseer, director of Punjab provincial rescue services, says rescuers are collecting the badly burned bodies, many beyond recognition, news agency AP reported.
10:20 am: According to reports, the overturned tanker exploded after fuel leakage from its damaged containter caught fire.
10:15 am: There is a lot of discrepancy reported in the number of injured civilians in the incident. Dawn is reporting 75 people have been injured. Duniya News is reporting at least 120 people have been injured who have been shifted to Victoria Hospital for medical assistance. Radio Pakistan and AP are reporting 50 people have been injured.