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Seven killed in Maharashtra oil tanker blast


Thane (Maharashtra), March 23 :

At least seven people were killed and eight injured when a petro-chemical tanker overturned and exploded on the busy Ahmedabad-Mumbai national highway here Saturday, officials said.

The tanker, carrying an unknown petro-chemical, reportedly skidded, turned turtle, exploded and caught fire on the highway near Charoti around 2.30 p.m.

Police officer Preeti Patil of Kasa police station said the burning tanker hurtled down the highway knocking down around 10 other vehicles in its path.

Eight injured people were admitted to hospitals.

One restaurant and some small shops in the vicinity were damaged in the flames emanating from the tanker.

Teams of firefighters and police rushed to the site for rescue operations as massive traffic snarls blocked both sides of the highway near the Charoti toll post. One side of the highway was cleared for traffic by 6 p.m.

Efforts are on to identify the dead, many of whom were burnt beyond recognition.