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Death toll close to 200 in Pakistan oil tanker fire

30 June 2017

The death toll in an oil tanker fire in Pakistan rose to 194 on June 30, prompting the government to suspend six officials for negligence. At least 120 people including women and children were killed on the spot and 140 injured when they gathered to collect leaking fuel from the crashed oil tanker in Bahawalpur, some 400 km south of Lahore, on June 25.

Stock image
Stock image

The tanker, travelling from Karachi to Lahore and carrying 40,000 litres of petrol, veered off the road when the driver lost control after one of its tyres burst. It exploded after someone lit a cigarette at the crash site, local sources said.

A police spokesman said six officials had been suspended on the recommendation of an inquiry into the incident set up by Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Rana Sanaullah, Punjab's legal affairs minister, told the ARY news channel that DNA tests were being used to identify the dead. He said the driver of the fuel tanker had survived the crash and was taken into custody.

Pakistani media said the charred wreckage of dozens of motorcycles and cars could be seen at the crash site, along with kitchen utensils, pots, jerrycans and buckets which the victims had brought to collect the petrol.

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