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Oil Tanker Fire in Pakistan Leaves More Than 140 Dead

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Burned bodies and the wreckage of an oil tanker that caught fire after overturning on a highway in central Pakistan on Sunday. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — At least 140 people were burned to death and 50 others were seriously injured on Sunday after an overturned oil tanker caught fire on a road in Pakistan as hundreds of people rushed to the tanker to collect fuel gushing onto the road, officials said.

The oil tanker overturned in Ahmedpur East, a small city in Punjab Province, as it was traveling from the southern port city of Karachi to Lahore, the capital of Punjab, officials said. The tanker was believed to be carrying 5,500 gallons of oil, the state-run news media reported.

It was not immediately clear if the tanker overturned because of speeding at a sharp turn or as a result of a burst tire. But soon afterward, people from the surrounding area — including women and children — scrambled to collect the spilled fuel.

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Rescue workers and paramedics taking a burn victim to a hospital in Multan, Pakistan, on Sunday. Credit Mansoor Abbas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

But the tanker turned into a giant inferno, most likely because of a spark, rescue workers said. The blaze left most of the bodies charred beyond recognition. At least 73 motorbikes and several cars were destroyed. Some news reports put the number of dead at 148.

Source: NYT > World

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