LONDON – Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is returning to the country from London following a massive oil tanker inferno that killed at least 140 people in Punjab’s Bahawalpur on Sunday.
PM Nawaz, who reached London on Saturday from Saudi Arabia, offered Eid prayers with his sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz in Britain’s capital city. Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana was also accompanying the prime minister.
Earlier, it was expected that the PM would stay there for a few days for a medical checkup. But following the terrible tragedy, he has shortened his stay and will return to Pakistan today.
The Pakistani prime minister and his family had been staying in Saudi Arabia for the last ten days of Ramazan where they performed Umrah.
A lorry transporting carrying 40,000 litres of fuel while travelling from Karachi to Lahore on the main highway crashed on a road near the Pakistani city of Ahmedpur East on Sunday. A large crowd of people, including women and children, had gathered at the scene to collect the leaked oil when the fire erupted.
One hundred people were injured as a result of the incident, government officials said.
At least six cars and 12 motorcycles were burnt in the blaze.
It appears the tanker blew a tyre while rounding a sharp bend in the road. The subsequent fire may have been sparked by someone lighting a cigarette, rescue services say.