Pakistani paramedics transfer an injured man following an oil tanker accident in central Pakistan's Multan, on June 25, 2017. At least 140 people were killed and over 120 others injured in an oil tanker fire that happened in the Pakistan's eastern Punjab province on Sunday morning, said a local parliamentarian. (Xinhua/Stringer)
ISLAMABAD, June 25 (Xinhua) -- At least 140 people were killed and over 120 others injured in an oil tanker fire that happened in the eastern Punjab province of Pakistan on Sunday morning, said a local politician.
Makhdoom Ali Hussain, a member of Pakistan's lower house National Assembly from the district of Bahawalpur where the tragedy occurred, confirmed the number of casualties to local media.
Pakistan's state-run TV channel PTV also confirmed the casualty figures.
A huge fire broke out after hundreds of local people, mostly villagers, gathered at a capsized oil tanker site on a highway to collect the petrol that spilled out from the ill-fated vehicle.
Local police said initial investigation suggested that the fire was triggered after someone on the spot lit a cigarette.
Both civilians and military personnel were involved in the rescue work.
Due to the lack of doctors and facilities for burn injuries in local hospitals, some of the seriously injured people have been shifted or airlifted to hospitals in the nearby city of Multan, a major city in Punjab province.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently on a private trip overseas, expressed shock and deep sorrows over the tragedy and instructed relevant departments to give the best possible medical treatment to the people injured in the fire.
Hospital sources said the death toll could further rise as many of the injured remain in critical condition.