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A fuel tanker fire leaves 150 dead in Pakistan

  • Editor
  • June 28, 2017
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An oil tanker overturned and burst into flames as crowds rushed to collect fuel that spilled over on a highway in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, killing over 150 people and injuring more than 140 others, in one of the deadliest accidents in the country.  The oil tanker coming from Karachi and headed to Lahore overturned on the national highway at the Ahmedpur Sharqia area of the Bahawalpur district, some 400 km from Lahore, after a tyre burst and the driver lost control.  The fire was apparently caused by someone who lit a cigarette after people from nearby localities gathered on the highway to collect petrol, officials said.

A loudspeaker atop a nearby mosque alerted the village to the leaking fuel, and hundreds rushed to fill jerry cans and buckets. Local media arrived to film the people scooping up the oil, and while police tried to hold everyone back, more rushed in, some coming from neighbouring villages on their motorcycles. The fire spread rapidly, and local media showed a giant fireball erupt and give way to thick black plumes of smoke.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was in London to celebrate Eid along with his family members, cut short his visit and left for Pakistan.  “This is a tragedy of its kind in the country’s history that left everyone in grief in Pakistan. My thoughts are with the victims’ families,” Sharif said before leaving for Pakistan.  Rescue officials said the blaze from the oil spill engulfed scores of residents, killing 151 people and injuring more than 140 others.

 

 

Posted by Rahul Rock Jadhao on Wednesday, June 28, 2017

While there was no confirmation from authorities, rescue services spokesman Jam Sajjad Hussain told Reuters that the cause of the fire came from someone trying to light a cigarette as everyone gathered oil. Along with the 150 dead, more than 50 others were injured. But the death toll is expected to rise, as many others are still considered missing from neighbouring villages. The survivors were taken to the nearby Victoria Hospital, but it was not equipped to handle so many burn victims. The Associated Press reported that most of the patients suffered burns over 80 percent of their bodies, and some of the most serious cases were taken by helicopter to a hospital in Multan, about 60 miles away.

The explosion came just a day before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which signals the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.

An oil tanker overturned and burst into flames as crowds rushed to collect fuel that spilled over on a highway in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, killing over 150 people and injuring more than 140 others, in one of the deadliest accidents in the country.  The oil tanker coming from Karachi and headed to Lahore overturned on the national highway at the Ahmedpur Sharqia area of the Bahawalpur district, some 400 km from Lahore, after a tyre burst and the driver lost control.  The fire was apparently caused by someone who lit a cigarette after people from nearby localities gathered on the highway to collect petrol, officials said. A loudspeaker atop a nearby mosque alerted the village to the leaking fuel, and hundreds rushed to fill jerry cans and buckets. Local media arrived to film the people scooping up the oil, and while police tried to hold everyone back, more rushed in, some coming from neighbouring villages on their motorcycles. The fire spread rapidly, and local media showed a giant fireball erupt and give way to thick black plumes of smoke. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was in London to celebrate Eid along with his family members, cut short his visit and left for Pakistan.  “This is a tragedy of its kind in the country’s history that left everyone in grief in Pakistan. My thoughts are with the victims’ families,” Sharif said before leaving for Pakistan.  Rescue officials said the blaze from the oil spill engulfed scores of residents, killing 151 people and injuring more than 140 others.     Posted by Rahul Rock Jadhao on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 While there was no confirmation from authorities, rescue services spokesman Jam Sajjad Hussain told Reuters that the cause of the fire came from someone trying to light a cigarette as everyone gathered oil. Along with the 150 dead, more than 50 others were injured. But the death toll is expected to rise, as many others are still considered missing from neighbouring villages. The survivors were taken to the nearby Victoria Hospital, but it was not equipped to handle so many burn victims. The Associated Press reported that most of the patients suffered burns over 80 percent of their bodies, and some of the most serious cases were taken by helicopter to a hospital in Multan, about 60 miles away. The explosion came just a day before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which signals the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.

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