Pakistan border sign

Scores Dead In Pakistan After Overturned Tanker Bursts Into Flames

A tanker truck carrying oil overturned on a highway in Pakistan before bursting into flames, killing at least 148 people who were trying to collect fuel from the leaking vehicle.

Rescue officials said the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle before it crashed early on June 25 about 100 kilometers southwest of the city of Multan, the country’s fifth-largest city with just over 3.1 million people.

Police tried to cordon off the area after the accident but scores of villagers pushed through to try and gather fuel spilling from the truck when it exploded, Rana Mohammad Saleem Afzal, a senior local government official, told reporters.

“After the spill, people began calling their relatives to come and gather the oil, and some showed up from nearby villages as well. There must have been 500 people gathered when the fire began,” Khalil Ahmed, a 57-year-old former government employee who lives in the village, told Reuters.

Video from the accident scene showed plumes of black smoke billowing from the wreckage and images of scores of charred bodies.

Dozens suffered serious injuries and the death toll could rise, said Dr. Mohammad Baqar, a senior rescue official in the area.

“I have never seen anything like it in my life. Victims trapped in the fireball. They were screaming for help,” said Abdul Malik, a local police officer who was also among the first to arrive at the scene.

Full story: rferl.org

RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal

Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

TN

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