140 burnt to death as tanker burst into flames


Charred motorbikes littered the road
Photo: BBC/EPA

At least 140 people were killed when a lorry transporting oil burst into flames near the Pakistani city of Ahmedpur East, local officials say.

A crowd had gathered, reportedly to collect fuel leaking from the overturned vehicle when it caught fire. Dozens are being treated in hospital.

It appears the tanker blew a tyre while rounding a sharp bend in the road.

The subsequent fire may have been sparked by a cigarette, rescue services told the BBC.

“One of the passers-by lit the lighter to start a cigarette and the untoward incident which was a minor [one]… turned into a major blast,” Jam Sajjad said.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is cutting short a visit to London in response to the incident, Pakistani government news agency APP reports.

The country’s roads are notoriously dangerous, with poor vehicle maintenance…

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