At least 146 died and 100 injured including women and children after an over turned oil tanker caught fire in Ahmad Pur Sharqia area of Bahawalpur today.

According to media reports, the accident occurred after dosens of people from nearby localities gathered to collect oil from the overturned tanker when it blew up. At least 75motorbikes and six cars passing by also burnt by blaze.     

The dead bodies and injured are being shifted to Victoria and CMH Hospitals of Bahawalpur and emergency has been declared in the hospitals.

There is no Burnt Unit in Victoria Hospital due to which death toll is feared to be increased, reports mentioned. 

The rescue sources have stated that most of the dead are unrecognisable due to extreme fire. They will become recognisable after DNA test, said the rescue sources. 

Around 20 to 25 injured have third degree burns, the media reports stated. 

The severely injured are being tried to shift to Multan but due to lack of facilities and ambulances, it is becoming hard, media reported. 

While talking to media, Punjab government spokesperson admitted that there is lack of medical facilities in those areas. "The government machinery is doing its best for saving lives," he said. 

"The helicopter of Chief Minister is also being sent to the site," he said. 

PM shortens his London stay

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, winding up his engagements in London, has decided to immediately return to Pakistan.

According to the Prime Minister's Office, the prime minister is leaving for Pakistan Sunday in the wake of Bahawalpur tragic incident of oil spill. Nawaz Sharif will directly land in Multan from United Kingdom on Monday.

The prime minister noted that the terror incidents on Jumma-tul-Wida and Ahmedpur Sharqia tragedy have grieved the nation immensely.  

He appealed to the nation to pray for the departed souls and for early recovery of the injured.    

Nawaz Sharif had contacted Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and directed him to reach Ahmadpur Sharqia and supervise all the rescue and relief activities.    

He also directed for all possible relief to the victims' families.

Speaking to media after offering Eid prayer in London on Sunday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives and termed it a national tragedy.

He said he has issued directions to Shehbaz Sharif for take speedy measures in providing all possible assistance to the injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the accident and ordered the concerned authorities to take emergency steps for better treatment of the people. 

The Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa has also taken notice of the accident and ordered military to provide complete assistance to civil administration, ISPR head Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted. 

The Army Aviation Helicopters have been sent to evacuate injured to burn centres and hospitals, Major General further stated. 

While talking to media, Motorway Police spokesperson Imran Shah stated that police asked people to stay away from the tanker but people started gathering. 

"Someone light cigarette near the tanker causing the fire," he said.  

Traffic on highway was blocked by motorway police after the accident, Shah added. 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan expressed his condolences over accident and ordered his local leadership to provide assistance to injured and their families. 

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto also expressed his grief over the accident. He also ordered the PPP workers to provide any possible help to the injured. 

US embassy in Islamabad expressed its condolences over the accident. 

Same accident occurred in 1999 at Adda Rodu Sultan when an overturned truck loaded with petrol exploded, just as dozens of people were collecting fuel from the leaking vehicle.

The fire then spread through the town destroying houses, shops and vehicles.

As many as 65 people were killed and at least 75 others were injured.

The truck was barrelling down the road that runs through the centre of Adda Rodu Sultan when it rolled.

The tanker apparently rolled after avoiding another truck coming in the opposite direction.

After the accident, petrol began to leak from the tanker.

About 150 residents and shop owners rushed to the vehicle with buckets and cans to collect the leaking fuel.

But minutes later a fire began and the tanker exploded.

 Local police said it wasn't clear what sparked the explosion, though one eyewitness said it may have been a cigarette.