Fuel truck explodes in Pakistan, 153 dead

Fuel truck explodes in Pakistan, 153 dead”

Police have said that the details remain unconfirmed, but cited witnesses who reported that a tanker tyre had burst.

Bahawalpur's Victoria Hospital said it was treating 40 victims, all of whom had suffered burns on at least 70% of their bodies.

The bodies of 125 victims were placed in the cold storage of the hospital, officials said. The driver, who apparently lost control of the truck after he blew a tire, survived the accident. The leaking fuel was even flowing along the highway in the fields.

Scores were burnt to death when a petrol tanker that had overturned on the highway outside Bahawalpur exploded as locals crowded round to gather the leaking fuel yesterday.

The premier visits the victims of Ahmadpur Sharqia tanker blast at the hospital after offering Eid prayers. It's believed that a spark from the many cars and motorcycles that raced to the scene ignited the fuel.

Pakistan Motorway Police spokesman Imran Shah told AFP residents also ignored police warnings to stay away.

The tanker overturned after trying to make a sharp turn on the national highway on the outskirts of the city of Bahawalpur, about 100 kilometers south-west of Multan.

According to APP, the explosion destroyed 75 motorbikes and six automobiles. "What is the use of this petrol, what will you do it with now?" he asked, pointing at a bucket in his other hand. Army helicopters sent by the military carried the victims, some of them gravely injured with serious burns, to the nearest hospital in Bahawalpur.

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It added that the road had been reopened and that traffic had started to flow again. He said he also made a decision to cut short his visit to be amongst the affected families. Since the local hospital was not capable of handling injuries to that extent, around 90 people were taken to the Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital.

The Prime Minister, while expressing his deep grief over the tragic incident, however, regretted the "inappropriate" attitude of some politicians on television.

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 had been in London to attend his grandson's graduation ceremony, his daughter Maryam said in a tweet.

Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister, has announced a compensation package of Pakistani Rs (PKR) 2,000,000 ($19,100) for each of the killed and PKR 1,000,000 ($9,550) for the injured.

The US Embassy in Islamabad tweeted its condolences.

He said the inquiry will look into as to what was the condition of the oil tanker and what was the responsibility of the company owning the tanker. "Everyone in the family and the village is deeply shocked".

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