Update: Death toll in Pakistan tanker fire on Sunday rose to 148 and dozens more are in critical condition, reports AP quoting rescue officials.
Islamabad: More than 120 people were burnt to death when an oil tanker caught fire in Bahawalpur’s Ahmedpur Sharqia Sunday morning, according to rescue sources.
Around 40 people were reported injured and taken to Bahawal Victoria Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital Sharqia in critical condition, Rescue 1122 Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer. Most of those taken to the hospitals got 70% burn injuries, while more deaths are feared.
People in the area had gathered to collect fuel that was leaking from the oil tanker after it toppled over, said the rescue sources.
Eyewitnesses said some people in the vicinity were smoking cigarettes, which could have ignited the inferno.
Dozens of vehicles, including 75 motorbikes and four cars, were engulfed in the blaze that erupted in Pul Paka near the National Highway, an area located in the middle of the city. Most of the affected people were residents of the locality near by.
According to rescue sources, identities of the deceased cannot be ascertained without obtaining their DNA sample, as their bodies were badly burnt in the incident.
Although the inferno has been controlled, the road has not been cleared yet. Besides, rescue work was under way as some of the bodies stuck in the wreck were being taken out.