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Death toll from Pakistan oil tanker fire rises to 148

Death toll from Pakistan oil tanker fire rises to 148”

At least 148 people have been killed and dozens others have been injured when an overturned oil tanker exploded in Pakistan on Sunday (local time).

The tanker overturned in Ahmedpur East, a small city in Punjab province, as it was traveling from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the province's capital.

According to the local television, the residents gathered to collect fuel, leaked from the overturned tank on the track, when suddenly a fire began.

Fuel is a high value commodity in Pakistan, and despite the risks, the possibility of obtaining it for free draws many to accident scenes.

The death toll from the horrific oil tanker explosion in Pakistan's Punjab province has increased to 154, the media reported on Monday.?

Dr Rizwan Naseer, director of Punjab provincial rescue services, says rescuers are collecting the badly burned bodies, many beyond recognition.

Police moved quickly to redirect traffic but could not stop the scores of villagers who raced to collect the fuel, spokesman Imran Shah told a TV channel.

An eyewitness said that soon after the tanker skidded off the road, local people from nearby villages rushed to the site and later on also telephoned other people to collect the petrol.

Saznoor Ahmad, 30, whose two cousins were killed in the fire, said the crowd of people screamed as the flames engulfed them.

He said he did know what had happened to his friend after the fire broke out.

Mohammed Salim ran toward the smoke carrying buckets of water and sand, but said the heat was too intense to reach those in need.

"Someone should tell me about my beloved sons, where are they?" "Many were not even aware of the risk they were putting themselves into", he said.

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

At least 73 motorbikes and several cars were destroyed in the blast, which occurred the day before Pakistan celebrates Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday at the end of Ramadan. "The people who were alive were in really bad shape".

Dr. Javed Iqbal at Bahawalpur's Victoria Hospital said most of the patients suffered burns to upward of 80 percent of their bodies.



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