Oil tanker explosion kills more than 123 in Pakistan

Oil tanker explosion kills more than 123 in Pakistan”

"I parked my bike by the road and waited while my friend went to collect the fuel", said Rashid, who had burns on his hand and a leg. When I came out of the house, I saw many people rushing towards the highway and some going there by motorcycles. Most victims died in the fire.

At least 153 men, women and children were killed, with dozens more in critical condition, hospital and rescue officials said.

Numerous dead were burned beyond recognition, said Dr. Mohammad Baqar, a senior rescue official in the area.

A general view of the scene of an oil tanker explosion in Bahawalpur, Pakistan June 25, 2017.

Imran Shah, a spokesman for the highway police, told a local TV channel that police moved quickly to redirect traffic but couldn't stop the scores of villagers who raced to collect the fuel.

Authorities fear that the death toll is likely to rise. "The people who were alive were in really bad shape", he said. "We are so saddened to hear of the bad oil tanker accident in #Bahawalpur", it said.

Haroon-ur-Rasheed, ex-senior police official and an expert to deal with emergency and rescue operations in Bahawalpur, said it was too soon to determine what caused the explosion.

The official spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces tweeted that helicopters sent for evacuation of casualties to hospitals and burn centers.

Meanwhile, in the immediate aftermath of the incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif "expressed deep grief over the heavy loss of life".

Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab Province, has announced a compensation package of 2 million rupees (19,100 USA dollars) for each of the killed and 1 million rupees (9,550 US dollars) for each of the injured.

Over 120 people have been killed in Pakistan after an oil tanker caught fire and exploded.

The country has also long struggled to alleviate a chronic energy crisis, with regular blackouts crippling industry and exacerbating anger against the government.

According to the local media, the fully filled tanker, carrying 40,000 litre of oil, turned turtle due to burst tires while rounding a sharp bend in the road.

The tanker was on way to Lahore from Karachi when the driver lost control and crashed.

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