Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cut his trip to London short to condole the loss of more than 150 people in the Bahawalpur oil tanker blaze.
He reached Ahmad Pur Sharkiya by helicopter before noon Monday to join Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other provincial officials in condoling the horrific accident that had shocked the nation a day earlier.
The premier had flown in directly to Bahawalpur, where he visited the Victoria Hospital to spend time with those injured in the incident. He was accompanied by CM Shahbaz Sharif and Commissioner Bahawalpur Saqib Zafar.
He was later given a briefing on the deadly blaze at Ahmad Pur Sharkiya at the Circuit House. He was told that the accident occurred at 6:20am on Sunday morning, when a tanker carrying around 25,000 litres of fuel from Karachi to Lahore overturned on the highway.
The commissioner Bahawalpur told the prime minister that the victims of the incident had gathered around the tanker to collect the leaking fuel when, due to as yet unknown reasons, the tanker exploded, killing around 140 and injuring 125 instantly.
Expressing his grievance at the loss of lives, the premier said he empathised with the pain of those injured and those who had lost loved ones in the incident. He also led prayers for those suffering, wishing all the injured good health and a quick recovery.
Assuring that an inquiry has been ordered into the accident, the premier said there should be no politics on the loss of lives.
He also announced government jobs for the heirs of the deceased and the injured, along with Rs1 million in aid for each of those injured.