More than 100 people have been killed in an horrific crash on a Pakistan highway after an oil tanker rolled and exploded into flames, a rescue official says.
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.
"At least 123 people were burnt alive and died on the spot while the injured were shifted to the district headquarters hospital and Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur where the condition of a lot of them is critical", Afzal said, adding that about 50,000 litres of fuel spilled from the oil tanker.
Rizwan Naseer, a provincial rescue official, said some of the dead bodies had been charred beyond recognition. While Saudi Arabia and most other Muslim countries celebrate the holiday on Sunday, Pakistanis will celebrate on Monday.
Also, Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Pakistan's military, said a total of 51 people with serious burns and in critical condition have been transported by army helicopters to the city of Multan.
People had gathered around the tanker after it overturned to collect oil that had leaked out, according to Radio Pakistan.
The incident took place at Ahmedpur Sharqia in Bahawalpur located in Pakistan's Punjab region in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Nearly a dozen other nearby vehicles were also destroyed by the blaze. "We tried to get them to move back before the fire started but no one was listening", Ahmed said.
Some local elders and a policeman had been asking the people not to collect the oil and run away because of the possible threat, but people did not listen to them, the eyewitness added. Dozens of vehicles, including 75 motorbikes and four cars, were engulfed in the flames.
Overturned Pakistan oil tanker explodes just outside killing 148 persons with scores injured. "They were screaming for help". Many were covered in oil and burned and an emergency had been declared in the city, he said. "We convey our condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives, to the friendly and brotherly people and Government of Pakistan".
Afzal said women and children were among the victims.