Death toll from oil tanker explosion in Pakistan rises to 190

The oil tanker overturned and exploded on a main highway from Karachi to Lahore.

world Updated: Jul 01, 2017 08:47 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Islamabad
This file photo taken on June 26, 2017 shows Pakistani villagers gathering at the site of a deadly oil tanker fire following an accident in the town of Ahmedpur East. R(AFP)

The death toll from an oil tanker explosion in central Pakistan has risen to 190, hospital and government officials said Friday as 16 more people succumbed to their injuries.

The tanker overturned early Sunday on a main highway from Karachi to Lahore while carrying some 40,000 litres of fuel.

It exploded minutes later as crowds from a nearby village gathered to scavenge for fuel, despite warnings by the driver as well as motorway police to stay away.

“The death toll from the tanker fire incident is now 190 after expiry of more injured people,” Tahira Parveen, medical superintendent of Bahawalpur Victoria hospital, told AFP.

A senior local administration official confirmed the toll.

Motorway police spokesman Imran Shah has said that a government inquiry into the incident had found at least five police officials guilty of hiding information.

The tragedy marked a grim start to Eid, the celebrations closing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Pakistan has a poor record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

First Published: Jul 01, 2017 08:18 IST