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

Pakistan oil tanker blast kills more than 140 people

Pakistan oil tanker blast kills more than 140 people

"One body has been recovered and 11others are still missing", Ahmed said."After the spill, people began calling relatives to gather oil; some from nearby villages".

He said numerous bodies were burned beyond recognition and will have to be identified through DNA testing.

Both Riffat and senior local government official Rana Mohammed Saleem Afzal, speaking to state television, said at least 123 people had been killed.

"We knew it was risky", he said, "and if there were more cars and bikes, the casualties would have been much higher".

About 30 motorcycles that villagers had used to rush to the site of the highway accident lay charred nearby along with cars, witnesses said.

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Local news channels showed black smoke billowing skyward and horrific images of scores of burned bodies, as well as rescue officials speeding the injured to hospital and army helicopters ferrying the wounded.

Residents wandered through the area looking for loved ones as the wounded cried out for help.

"Someone should tell me about my beloved sons".

The driver of the tanker lost control while travelling from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the Punjab province capital. Where are they? Are they alive or are they no longer in this world?

Motorway police raced to the scene and tried to keep people away from the tanker, he said, adding that they were ignored as residents continued filling their containers with fuel.

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It is thought up to 20 children may be among the dead.

The accident happened the day before Pakistan celebrates the Eid al-Fitr festival, when families get together to celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Muhammad Hanif, 40, who suffered burns, told reporters at the Victoria Hospital that he was present at his house when his cousin called him informing that the village people were rushing to the highway to collect "free oil".

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. Some victims may only be identified by DNA sampling as bodies were badly burned in the incident, reports say.

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