Pakistan: 123 burnt to death as oil tanker catches fire in Bahawalpur
According to Geo TV, "Dozens of vehicles, including 75 motorbikes and four cars, were engulfed in the blaze that erupted in Pul Paka near the National Highway, an area located in the middle of the city."
The reports said that most of the affected people were residents of the nearby locality. Some passers-by were also injured.
The bodies are yet to identified since most of them are unrecognisable due to burn injuries. A DNA test has to be done to ascertain their identities, media reports said.
Around 40 people were reported injured and taken to Bahawal Victoria Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital Sharqia in critical condition, Rescue 1122 Director General Dr. Rizwan Naseer told Geo TV.
Most of the injured brought to the hospital sustained more than 70 percent burnt injuries.
Authorities fear that the death toll is likely to rise.
While the exact cause of the inflammation is yet to found, eyewitnesses told media that some people in the vicinity were smoking cigarettes, which could have ignited the inferno.
The fire is brought under control but the road has not been cleared.
Relief and rescue work is still underway.
Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident.
He has directed forces to provide assistance in rescue effort.
Ghafoor tweeted: "COAS expresses grief on losses in oil tanker incident. Directed provision of full assistance to civil admn in rescue/relief effort."
"Army Aviation helicopters sent for evacuation of casualties to hospitals / burn centres. Hospitals placed on high alert," he wrote.