Six children die in fireball as car, tanker collide in Pakistan

AFP , Wednesday 10 Feb 2016

Six schoolchildren were among at least 10 people killed when a fireball erupted as a tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) collided with a car in eastern Pakistan on Wednesday, engulfing surrounding vehicles, officials said.

The accident, which also injured at least 17, happened on a busy highway in the district of Sheikhupura in Pakistan's most populous Punjab province.

"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.

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.

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