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A massive fire caused by an oil tanker accident in Gulrez area of Rawalpindi damaged several buildings in the vicinity and resulted in huge loss of property. Rescue forces have so far evacuated 27 people from the affected buildings, but casualties are feared.

The blaze severely damaged a private bank, a restaurant, six vehicles, shops and the building which also housed residential flats.

The fire escalated to the adjacent building and caused huge damage to that building as well.

No loss of life has been reported as yet, however many people working and living in the building are still missing, the local residents said.

The fire broke when an oil tanker met an accident near the Gulraiz chowk area and immediately caught fire. The blaze escalated quickly and engulfed a nearby plaza because of constant oil spill from the tanker.

Officials revealed that the oil tanker was illegally passing through the said area to evade paying tax at the toll plaza.

More than 15 fire tenders of the Rescue 1122 and four of Bahria Town took part in the firefighting operation.

So far the rescue teams have rescued more some 27 people who were stranded in the building due to fire.

Rescue 1122 official Deeba Shahnaz said: "Twenty seven people were rescued from the fire effected building, of which four unconscious people who were effected by the fire smoke were shifted to the nearest hospital".

Rescue operation was underway till the filing of this report and military had also been called to take part in the fire fighting operation.