Oil tanker flips and explodes, killing over 100 in Pakistan

Medical staff fears more deaths, as victims suffered burns to over 70 percent of their bodies.

As heart wrenching stories are being flashed on television screens regarding Bahawalpur oil tanker fire that killed over 140 people on Sunday, an eye witness also shared his part of the story about the tragedy.

Most of the victims had gathered around the oil tanker when the vehicle while attempting to make a turn overturned. Several vehicles, including six cars and 12 motorbikes, were engulfed in the fire, the Dawn reported.

Hospitals in Pakistan have been alerted on the emergency with the military sending army helicopters to evacuate those that had been wounded.

Video images of the people gathered to collect petrol emerged showing young and old people filling their bikes with the spilled oil and collecting it in bottles and cans.

Although the inferno has been controlled, the road has not been cleared yet. Besides, rescue work was underway as some of the bodies stuck in the wreckage were being taken out.

Rescue operations were underway as fire brigade personnel managed to control the blaze.

Pakistan's Geo TV said that the traffic on the National Highway route has been suspended for now. While Saudi Arabia and most other Muslim countries celebrated the holiday Sunday, Pakistanis will celebrate on Monday.

The injured were moved to Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital and other health facilities. Dozens are being treated in hospital. It is located at a distance of 150 kilometres from Ahmedpur Sharqia (East).

Ambulances parked at Bahawalpur hospital.

The injured have transferred to District Headquarters Hospital, rescue officials said. "CM also sought report of the incident and ordered to hold inquiry of the incident", the statement said. Most of the victims had collected around the truck to collect the oil that was spilled on to the street.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif "expressed deep grief over the heavy loss of life", his office said.

The Chief Minister of Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said an inquiry would be held into the incident.

Pakistan Motorway Police spokesman Imran Shah told AFP they received a call about the accident at around 6.30 am. When I came out of the house, I saw many people rushing towards the highway and some going there by motorcycles.

  • Leroy Wright