BAHAWALPUR, Pakistan 26 June 2017: At least 140 people were killed when a lorry transporting oil burst into flames in the Pakistani city of Bahawalpur.
According to reports carried by the BBC, local officials said that dozens of people were badly burned as they tried to collect fuel leaking from the vehicle. Those injured are being treated in hospital, and firefighters are were at the scene tackling the blaze, said Wam.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the tanker had overturned because of speeding. BBC said reports suggest one of the petrol thieves lit a cigarette which may have caused the fiery blast. Eyewitnesses said that some people were smoking at the scene of the accident, which could have started the fire, Pakistan’s Geo TV reported.
The tanker was reportedly carrying 50,000 litres of fuel. As it over-turned, fuels started leaking and people and in and around the area gathered to siphon off as much fuel as they could in this impoverished nation.
Identities of a number of victims may only be established by DNA sampling, as the bodies were badly burned in the incident, reports added.
The nearest burn treatment hospital was some 150km away. Injured were airlifted by military helicopters to hospitals.
There are fears that the death toll could rise further.
By Sheen Amos