Bahawalpur (Staff Report): At least 132 people were burnt to death and more than 100 including 20 children were injured when an oil tanker caught fire in Bahawalpur's Ahmedpur Sharqia on Sunday.

A large crowd of people, including women and children, had gathered to collect fuel that was leaking from the oil tanker after it toppled over, said the rescue sources.

Eyewitnesses said some people in the vicinity were smoking cigarettes, which could have ignited the inferno.

At least six cars and 12 motorcycles were also burnt in the blaze.

The fire brigade arrived on the site of the incident shortly after the blaze started and rescue operations were initiated.

Two fire engines battled the fire and eventually gained control over it.

Army helicopters have also been sent for evacuation of the injured. Hospitals in the neighbourhood are also put on high alert.

"COAS expresses grief on losses in oil tanker incident. Directed provision of full assistance to civil administration in rescue [and] relief efforts," Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed deep grief over the heavy loss of life in the unfortunate accident of oil tanker fire at Ahmad Pur Sharqia, Bahawalpur,” said a statement issued by the PM Office.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and ordered government officials to file a report.