CHARIKAR: An oil tanker overturned and caught fire in Afghanistan’s Salang pass, killing 12 people, officials said on Sunday.
At least 12 people were killed and 37 others were injured in the incident, said Hamidullah Misbah, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works, adding that the toll was expected to rise.
“An oil tanker overturned and caught fire in the Salang tunnel, which then set several other vehicles on fire,” Misbah said.
The incident happened in the province of Parwan, late on Saturday, leaving travellers on both sides of the mountainous pass stranded.
Several vehicles catch fire after oil tanker overturns
Abdullah Afghan Mal, a senior health official in Parwan, said many of the dead included women and children who were badly burned. “Among the dead it was very hard to identify who was a male and who was a female,” he said.
The pass was now closed for traffic as rescue teams in helicopters deployed at the site, officials said.
The Salang pass, one of the highest mountain highways in the world at around 3,650 metres was built by Soviet-era specialists in the 1950s and includes a 2.6-kilometre tunnel. The pass runs through the Hindu Kush mountain range that connects capital Kabul to the north.
Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2022