151 killed in Pak oil tanker blast

151 killed in Pak oil tanker blast
An oil tanker overturned and burst into flames as crowds rushed to collect fuel that spilled over on a highway in Pakistan’s Punjab Province, killing over 151 people.

More than 140 people were injured in one of the deadliest accidents in the country. The oil tanker coming from Karachi and headed to Lahore overturned early Sunday morning on the national highway at the Ahmedpur Sharqia area of Bahawalpur district, some 400 km from Lahore, after a tyre burst and the driver lost control.

The fire was apparently caused by someone who lit a cigarette after people from nearby localities gathered on the highway to collect petrol, officials said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was in London to celebrate Eid along with his family members, cut short his visit and left for Pakistan.

“This is a tragedy of its kind in the country’s history that has left everyone in grief in Pakistan. My thoughts are with the victims’ families,” Sharif said before leaving for Pakistan. Rescue officials said the blaze from the oil spill engulfed scores of residents.

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