Roaring tanker fire kills 7, injures 14 in Afghan capital

It wasn’t immediately known if the fire was accidental or intentional

Roaring tanker fire kills 7, injures 14 in Afghan capital

Residents watch burning oil tankers and trucks in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 2, 2021 . PTI

Kabul, May 2

A searing blaze that roared through several fuel tankers on the northern edge of the Afghan capital of Kabul killed seven people and injured 14 others, the Interior Ministry said Sunday.

Investigators were combing through the dozens of tankers that lay in smoldering ruins and a gas station caught in the flames that roared through the area late Saturday, said ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.

There was no immediate indication of whether it was an accident or sabotage. It came on the same day that the US and NATO officially began the final phase of a withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending a nearly 20-year military engagement.

All 2,500-3,500 American soldiers and about 7,000 NATO allied forces will be out of Afghanistan at the latest by Sept 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States that first brought them into the country.

Arian said the fire began when a spark set a fuel tanker ablaze. Several tankers nearby were quickly engulfed, sending giant flames and plumes of smoke into the night sky. 

The fire in the northern edge of the city engulfed several homes and a nearby gas station. Several structures were destroyed and electricity to much of Kabul, which usually has only sporadic power, was knocked out.

Truck drivers Sunday blocked the road leading to the area demanding the government provide compensation.

The wounded were being treated mostly for burns in local hospitals.

The fire came soon after residents of the majority Muslim nation — marking the holy month of Ramadan when the faithful fast from sunrise to sunset — had ended their day-long fast. 

One driver, Haji Mir, said the explosion was deafening as trucks were lined up entering the city. 

“The first explosion sounded like a mine explosion,” he said. 

“There was flames shooting from one truck and then a second truck exploded, and a third.” He estimated that as many as 100 tucks may have burned.

Dozens of tankers were moving slowly into the capital at the time of the blaze. They had been waiting until after 9 p.m. when fuel tankers and other large trucks are allowed to enter the city.

Obaidullah, a resident in the area, said the fireballs were enormous. His family and neighbors ran into their yards. 

“Fire lit up the sky,” he said. Drivers were screaming for help as flames leapt from vehicle to vehicle and even set ablaze a fuel station. 

“Drivers were yelling that their co-drivers were stuck and were burning.” Firefighters arrived at the scene but their capacity is limited and it took hours to bring the blaze under control. On Sunday morning, flames still leapt from the smoldering ruins. (AP)

Top Stories

Covaxin recommended for trial on 2-18 age group

Covaxin recommended for trial on 2-18 age group

Trial will take place in AIIMS (Delhi), AIIMS (Patna) and Me...

At 4,205, India reports record Covid deaths in a day

At 4,205, India reports record Covid deaths in a day

3,48,421 fresh cases reported

After UP invites global vax bids, Maharashtra, Delhi eye imports too

After UP invites global vax bids, Maharashtra, Delhi eye imports too

Centre tells states to reserve 70% of supplies for second do...

Covid blows up in Yogi’s face

Covid blows up in Yogi’s face

The state government’s skewed priorities and callousness pai...

Jabs effective against Indian variant: Study

Jabs effective against Indian variant: Study

Authors argue against use of term ‘double mutant’

Cities

View All