On Sunday morning, around 127 people were killed when an oil tanker caught fire in Ahmed Pur Sharia, Bahawalpur. Reportedly, the tanker was carrying 40,000 litres of fuel. The tanker was traveling from Karachi to Lahore when, due to a sharp turn, it slipped on the road and exploded due to the fuel leaking from it caught on fire.
At first, around 100 hundred people were injured in the accident, but after the oil started leaking, a large number of people from nearby areas started gathering around at the scene to collect it.
Regional Police chief, Raja Riffat, reported that
‘ When the tanker overturned, the residents of the nearby village of Ramzapur Joya rushed to the site with buckets and containers, and a large number of people on motorcycles also came to collect the spilling fuel. After about 10 minutes the tanker exploded and enveloped the people around it. The reason why the fire started is not yet clear.’
Police tried to keep people away, but they ignored them and kept collecting leaked fuel. At least six cars and twelve motorcycles were burned on the spot. A rescue mission was initiated at once after the incident and went on for 2 hours before the fire was extinguished.
The bodies were removed from the site and the injured were transferred to District Headquarters Hospital and Bahawal Victoria Hospital, from which the 40 critical cases are being transferred to hospitals in Multan.
Army helicopters were used in the rescue operations to transport the injured to the hospitals.
A Statement was delivered by the government saying,’ Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed deep grief over the heavy loss of the life in the unfortunate accident of oil tanker fire at Ahmad Pura Sharia, Bahawalpur,’
Citizens also expressed their sorrow through the social media channels regarding this tragic incident.