SHEIKHUPURA: At least 12 people, including six schoolchildren were killed and 20 others injured when a fireball erupted as a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker collided with a car near Sheikhupura district on Wednesday.
According to initial details, the accident occurred due to heavy fog. Fire erupted in the tanker and engulfed surrounding vehicles.
“According to initial information, a car was making a U-turn and struck the tanker,” senior local police official Latif Gujjar told AFP.
He added that two cars, two rickshaws that were carrying children to school, and two motorbikes had been destroyed and the bodies of the dead were badly charred.
“The loss of life was mainly caused by the tanker fire,” he added.
Local rescue official Muhammad Azam confirmed the incident and number of casualties, adding the dead included two women.
The injured have been shifted to Allied Hospital Lahore and Faisalabad for immediate treatment, a rescue official said.
Heavy fog that descends upon central and northern Pakistan in winter is a leading cause of road accidents.
Pakistan also has an appalling record of fatal traffic accidents due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.
More than 4,600 people were killed in road traffic accidents in 2013, the last year the government released official data.
In January, at least 30 people, including women and children, were injured when a recklessly driven passenger coach collided head-on into a truck near Pir Mangio in Khairpur late Saturday night.
The coach, bearing registration B-0233, was en route to Karachi from Jacobabad, when it banged into a truck while overtaking another vehicle near Pir Mangio on the National Highway. Resultantly, 30 passengers including women and children were injured. Receiving news about the incident, district and highway police rushed to the scene and started evacuating the injured persons, who were later shifted to Civil Hospital, Khairpur, where an emergency had already been declared.