Toll from Pakistan tanker fire climbs to 148

About 50 people have been seriously injured.

He said the toll is likely to rise.

Residents from a nearby village rushed to gather the leaking fuel, overwhelming police who tried to cordon off the crash site.

An oil tanker overturned in eastern Pakistan, and then exploded as villagers were gathering around the tanker to try to salvage some of the spilled oil by collecting it in containers. Nearly a dozen other vehicles were also destroyed by the inferno.

Officials of the Pakistan Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority said the tanker was traveling from Karachi to the Punjabi capital, Lahore, carrying more than 10,500 gallons of fuel.

"I parked my bike by the road and waited while my friend went to collect the fuel", said Rashid, who had burns on his hand and a leg.

An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing people who had rushed to the. The others were still in the Bahawalpur Victoria hospital. The dead included men, women and children, he said.

Local TV showed black smoke billowing skyward, scores of burned bodies, rescue officials speeding the injured to hospital and army helicopters ferrying the wounded.

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Numerous victims were burned beyond recognition, Khan said.

At least 140 people died with another 49 injured.

Mohammad Shabbir, another villager, said the driver was shouting for people to stay away as the petrol could erupt at any time, but no one listened.

"Army Aviation helicopters sent for evacuation of casualties to hospitals / burn centres".

"The fire moved so fast", he said.

"My cousin told me to pick bottles and come out of the house".

And with many bodies said to have been burnt beyond recognition, it's being reported that DNA sampling will have to be used to identify them.

The accident happened the day before Pakistan celebrates the Eid al-Fitr festival, when families get together to celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

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