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Pakistan raises death toll to 157 from fuel truck fire

Pakistan raises death toll to 157 from fuel truck fire”

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

The tanker was driving from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the Punjab provincial capital, when the driver lost control and crashed.

"When it (oil tanker) turned over the residents of the nearby village of Ramzanpur Joya rushed to the site with buckets and other containers, and a large number of people on motorcycles also came and started collecting the spilling fuel", regional police chief Raja Riffat told AFP.

Dozens of relatives were waiting outside hospitals in Bahawalpur, the nearest major city, to claim the bodies of their loved ones as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived early Monday.

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

Numerous burn victims have been moved the larger cities of Karachi and Lahore.

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 in the massive inferno on Monday reached 160 as nine critically injured patients including four children on Monday died in Multan, Faisalabad and Lahore hospitals.

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Mr Sharif cut short his trip overseas and rushed back home, reaching Bahawalpur on Monday to visit the victims and console the affected families. Sharif also announced 2 million rupees - nearly $20,000 - as financial assistance for each family that had lost a family member in the highway inferno.

"This is not compensation, no compensation is possible for precious human life, but it is to help the affected families in distress", Sharif said, expressing his prayers for those killed and for a speedy recovery of the burned victims.

Similarly another injured youth said he desired to meet him (Nawaz Sharif), the Prime Minister said and added, "This really touched my heart and I prayed for their health and life".

Numerous bodies were burned beyond recognition and will have to be identified through DNA testing, said Mr Baqar.

He said a separate investigation was underway to see why police did not disperse the crowds of people who gathered to collect fuel.

Some of the most badly burned were immediately evacuated by army helicopters to Multan.

The disaster was one of several deadly events to mar the run-up to Monday's Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Initial reports are attributing the explosion to a cigarette that was lit near the incident, allegedly sparking the fire.



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