Death toll in Pakistan oil tanker fire rises to 205

The victim of the oil tanker blast, receiving medical treatment at local hospital in Multan, Pakistan on July 1, 2017.
The victim of the oil tanker blast, receiving medical treatment at local hospital in Multan, Pakistan on July 1, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

MULTAN,PAKISTAN (AFP) - The death toll from an oil tanker explosion in central Pakistan last month has risen to at least 205 people, government officials said Monday, as more victims succumbed to their injuries.

The tanker overturned on a main highway from Karachi to Lahore while carrying some 40,000 litres of fuel on June 25.

It exploded minutes later as crowds from a nearby village gathered to scavenge for fuel, despite warnings by the driver as well as motorway police to stay away.

"The death toll from the tanker fire incident is now 205 after the expiry of more injured people," senior local administration Rao Tasleem in Bahawalpur, the nearest city, told AFP.

A doctor at Bahawalpur's Victoria Hospital, Asim Bukhari, put the toll at 206 after a new death later on Monday, though that was unconfirmed by government authorities.

Motorway police spokesman Imran Shah has said that a government inquiry into the incident had found at least five police officials guilty of hiding information.

 
 

The tragedy marked a grim start to Eid, the celebrations closing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Pakistan has a poor record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.