At least 123 people have died in Pakistan after an overturned and leaking oil tanker exploded when someone tried to light a cigarette nearby, according to officials.
Provincial government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan commented on the blast, saying many who were caught in it had gathered nearby the tanker.
“People of the area and passersby had started gathering fuel when the tanker exploded, burning everybody on and around the spot.” he said.
The police moved quickly, but were unable to prevent villagers from attempting to collect fuel after a loudspeaker on top of a local mosque made an announcement about the leaking tanker.
Jam Sajjad Hussain, spokesman for the rescue workers service said that this was the result of someone attempting to light a cigarette.
“According to the initial reports, somebody tried to light a cigarette, and when the spilt fuel caught fire, leading to the tanker’s explosion” he said.
It took firefighter more than two hours to fight the flames, and a number of victims had to be airlifted to nearby hospitals to treat serious burn injuries.