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Death toll in Pakistan oil tanker fire rises to 206

People attend funeral prayers for the victims of an oil tanker explosion in Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

People attend funeral prayers for the victims of an oil tanker explosion in Bahawalpur, Pakistan.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The cause of the fire has not been made official yet, but it is believed that a spark from the cars and motorcycles that raced to the scene may have set it off.

The death toll in Pakistan’s oil tanker inferno rose to 206 on Monday as three more persons injured in one of the worst fire accidents in the country succumbed to their injuries, officials said.

Six officials, including a DSP-level officer, were suspended on Friday for negligence that led to the incident.

The Dawn reported that the death toll in Ahmadpur Sharqia oil tanker fire has risen to 206 and 65 injured are still recovering in hospitals.

In Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur, 25 patients are said to be in a stable condition. However, nine patients in Lahore and 17 in Multan are in a critical condition.

A team of surgeons have been called in to conduct skin transplants at a hospital in Lahore.

At least 120 people including women and children were killed on the spot and 140 injured last week, a day before Eid, when they rushed to collect fuel leaking from the crashed oil tanker in Bahawalpur, some 400 kilometres from Lahore.

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. An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing more than one hundred people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel, an official said.

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. An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing more than one hundred people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel, an official said.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

The tanker caught fire after the explosion and some 50,000 litres of petrol spilled from the vehicle.

The tanker, coming from Karachi to Lahore, veered off the road when the driver lost control after one of its tyres burst. It exploded after someone lit a cigarette.

The cause of the fire has not been made official yet, but it is believed that a spark from the many cars and motorcycles that raced to the scene may have ignited the fuel.

Meanwhile, according to motorway police spokesman Imran Shah, the officials have been suspended on the recommendation of the departmental inquiry committee probing into the incident on the basis of technical data.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had met the victims of the tragedy and said that the government would provide jobs to those who were injured in the explosion and relatives of the affected families.

He had vowed that the incident would be thoroughly investigated and those found guilty of dereliction of duty would be punished.

Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a four member inquiry committee to investigate the Bahawalpur tragedy.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:51:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/death-toll-in-pakistan-oil-tanker-fire-rises-to-206/article19203758.ece

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