More than 150 killed in fuel tanker explosion in Pakistan

World Today

Pakistan army soldiers stands guard while rescue workers examine the site of an oil tanker explosion at a highway near Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Sunday, June 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Iram Asim)

At least 153 people were killed and dozens injured when a fuel tanker exploded in eastern Pakistan. The road tanker transporting oil crashed in the city of Bahawalpur.

CGTN’s Danial Khan reports.

Villagers in Bahawalpur city and passersby rushed to collect the leaking fuel on the road. They were killed when it exploded after the container caught fire.

According to the initial investigation, the driver lost control of the truck while trying to make a sharp turn. The truck then overturned on the main highway. The tanker was carrying 40,000 liters of fuel and was traveling from Karachi to Lahore.

Over a hundred people including women and children were injured as they gathered at the scene to collect the leaked oil when the fire erupted. It is not clear how the fire started, but there is speculation that it was the result of a lit cigarette.

It took firefighters more than two hours to extinguish the fire. According to the authorities, there are dozens of dead bodies that are charred beyond recognition.

The army assisted the civil administration in the rescue efforts by airlifting the injured to hospitals. At least 40 among the injured are in critical condition, and the death toll is expected to rise.