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Pakistan oil tanker explosion: Death toll rises to 174

The tanker overturned early Sunday on the main highway from Karachi to Lahore while carrying some 40,000 litres of fuel. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 29, 2017, 01.52 PM (IST)

The death toll from an oil tanker explosion in the city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan has risen to 174, AFP cited officials as saying.

"According to our information, 174 people have died of their wounds to date," Bahawalpur police chief Akhar Abbas told AFP. A medical official confirmed the toll.

Abbas said tanker driver Khiyam Muhammad, who sustained burns, also died of his wounds in nearby Multan city on Wednesday.

An oil tanker overturned and burst into flames in central Pakistan on Sunday morning, killing 153 people. 

The tanker overturned on a sharp bend on a highway on the outskirts of the city of Bahawalpur and later caught fire. 

Eyewitnesses say some people were smoking cigarettes at the scene of the accident, which could have led to the fire, Daily Pakistan had reported.

"When it (oil tanker) turned over the residents of the nearby village of Ramzanpur Joya rushed to the site with buckets and other containers, and a large number of people on motorcycles also came and started collecting the spilling fuel," regional police chief Raja Riffat had told AFP. 

"After about 10 minutes the tanker exploded in a huge fireball and enveloped the people collecting petrol. It was not clear how the fire started."

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