Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Over 150 dead as overturned fuel truck explodes in Pakistan

Over 150 dead as overturned fuel truck explodes in Pakistan

At least 150 people who had gathered to collect fuel from an overturned tanker truck in Pakistan were killed when it caught fire Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

The oil tanker coming from Karachi and headed to Lahore overturned early Sunday morning on the national highway at the Ahmedpur Sharqia area of the Bahawalpur district, some 400 km from Lahore, after a tyre burst.

"At least three cars and more than 70 motorcycles were also destroyed in the flames", Sattar reports. According to eyewitnesses, some people smoked cigarettes, which could have caused the fire.

The Punjab government said three helicopters were shifting the critically burnt people to Multan's combined military hospital and Nishter Hospital for providing better health facilities.

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Residents could be seen walking past blackened and twisted bodies piled by the roadside.

Numerous dead were burned beyond recognition, said Dr. Mohammad Baqar, a senior rescue official in the area. "We tried to get them to move back but no one was listening", Ahmed said.

Another newspaper, the Pakistan's Dawn said the fire brigade arrived on the site of the incident shortly after the blaze started and rescue operations were initiated.

"Winding up his engagements in London, the PM has chose to immediately return back to country because terror attacks on Friday and oil tanker fire tragedy have grieved the nation immensely", said the statement.

Pakistan oil tanker blast kills more than 140 people
Mr Salim ran towards the smoke carrying buckets of water and sand, but said the heat was too intense to reach those in need. While Saudi Arabia and most other Muslim countries celebrated the holiday Sunday, Pakistanis will mark it today.

Mohsin ul Mulk, a correspondent for the Channel 24 TV network, described a grisly scene, with burned motorcycles and cars scattered across the highway along with kitchen utensils, pots, water coolers and buckets.

Gillani said that even though the word danger was clearly written at the rear of such a tanker, people did not take heed.

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

By observing seriousness of the incident, Sharif who was scheduled to return home on June 30 cut short his London trip and made a decision to return on Sunday night.

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According to some official sources, now 108 injured are present in Victoria Hospital, 31 in Nishtar Hospital in Multan and 17 in a military hospital in Bahawalpur.

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