Ahmedpur Sharqia Tragedy: Death toll hits 162
BAHAWALPUR (92 News) – The death toll in oil tanker tragedy in Ahmedpur Sharqia has risen to 162 while condition of many other injured is critical.
The tragic incident occurred when an oil tanker caught fire near Ahmedpur Sharqia, Bahawalpur on Sunday. The truck, carrying some 25,000 liters (6,600 gallons) of gasoline, was traveling from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the Punjab provincial capital, when the driver lost control and crashed on a highway outside the town of Bahawalpur early on Sunday.
Alerted by an announcement over a mosque loudspeaker that an overturned tanker truck was leaking fuel, scores of villagers rushed to the scene to collect the spilled fuel when the blaze ignited. The wreck had exploded, engulfing people in flames as they screamed in terror.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who cut short his Britain tour, visited the injured on Monday and announced to hold an in-depth inquiry into the tragedy, saying “we shall not let this incident go ignored without reaching any conclusion.”
A case has been registered against the driver, the manager and the owner of the tanker at a local police station. The case said the incident took place at 6:23am local time on Sunday when an oil tanker fully packed with around 50,000 liters of petrol skidded off the road due to careless driving on a highway in Ahmad Pur Sharqia, a small town about 400 km southwest of Lahore, capital city of Punjab province.
Initial police investigation suggested that the fire broke out after someone on the spot lit a cigarette. Further probe into the incident is still underway. A total of 80 motorbikes and six vehicles were burnt out in the fire, including a car carrying seven persons of a family who stopped over just to know what people are collecting.