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More than 120 dead after oil tanker catches fire in Pakistan

More than 120 dead after oil tanker catches fire in Pakistan”

A devastating accident involving an exploding fuel tanker has left at least 140 people dead in eastern Pakistan, according to Nishtar Hospital.

The death toll from an oil tanker fire in Pakistan has risen to 153, with dozens more in a critical condition, and the fatalities are expected to increase.

The tanker was travelling from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore when the driver lost control and crashed near the city of Bahawalpur around 6.30am.

A report via AP told of local villagers rushing to the highway crash scene in the hope of gathering leaking fuel.

Regional police chief Raja Riffat said residents from the village Ramzanpur Joya rushed to the site to collect fuel and a "large number" of people on motorcycles also came.

Bahawalpur's Victoria Hospital said it was treating 40 of the injured, all of whom have suffered 70% burns.

Police had tried to seal off the area but became overwhelmed by the scores of people trying to reach the vehicle. "It was not clear how the fire started", he said. They said the tanker was carrying about 6,600 gallons of oil.

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The disaster happened on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

"One body has been recovered and 11 others are still missing", Ahmed said.

"We saw bodies everywhere, so many were just skeletons. The people who were alive were in really bad shape", he said.

A soldier stands guard amid burnt out cars and motorcycles at the scene of an oil tanker explosion in Bahawalpur, Pakistan June 25, 2017.

"I could hear people screaming but I couldn't get to them", he said. A state of emergency has been declared in the city, Punjab provincial government spokesman Salman Sufi said.

Mohammad Shabbir, another villager, said the driver was shouting for people to stay away as the petrol could erupt at any time, but no one listened. After being stabilized 22 patients were transferred by C-130 aircraft to hospitals in the provincial capital, Lahore.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing of Pakistan's military, said army helicopters transported 51 people 60 miles north to Combined Military Hospital Multan. Many were burned beyond recognition, Baqar said, and will have to be identified using DNA testing.

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