Middle East

Pakistan oil tanker explosion kills at least 120

At least 120 people died and 130 were injured when an oil tanker truck exploded in Bahawalpur city in eastern Pakistan on Sunday morning, according to Punjab government spokesperson Salman Sufi.

The accident occurred when the truck fell off the road it was traveling on, Mohammad Akhtar a police official with the city of Bahawalpur told CNN.

Villagers had gathered around the vehicle to collect its oil in containers when the vehicle exploded, Akhtar said. Many were covered in oil and burned, he said.

Bahawalpur’s Victoria Hospital said it was treating 40 of the injured, all of whom had suffered 70 degree burns.

Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif expressed “deep grief over the heavy loss of life,” his office said.
“The Prime Minister has directed provincial government to provide full medical assistance to the injured with burns,” it said. “The Prime Minister has expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for the departed souls.”

An inquiry will be held into the incident, the Chief Minister of Punjab said in a statement.
“CM Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has expressed sympathy and condolence with the bereaved families, and directed the administration to provide best medical facilities to the injured persons. CM also sought report of the incident and ordered to hold inquiry of the incident,” the statement said.

Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, tweeted that the blaze was “a national tragedy of epic proportions.”
The politician and former cricketer said he had asked local leadership to assess what assistance could be provided to the injured and victims’ families.
The US Embassy in Islamabad tweeted its condolences. “We are so saddened to hear of the terrible oil tanker accident in #Bahawalpur. Our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims,” it said.

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