An oil tanker overturned and caught fire in a tunnel, killing at least 19 people, including children, and injuring dozens.
Horror images show the burned-out remains of vehicles in Afghanistan’s Salang Tunnel and smoke billowing from the entrance.
“An oil tanker overturned in the Salang Tunnel and caught fire, which then set several other vessels on fire,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works, adding that the death toll is expected to rise.
Abdullah Afghan Mal, a senior health official in Parwan, said many of the dead were women and children with severe burns.
“Among the dead, it was very difficult to distinguish who was male and who was female,” he said.
A spokesman for Parwan province, Said Himatullah Shamim, said survivors remained trapped under rubble.
Among the dead were five women and two children, the rest were badly burned men who were unrecognizable.
It was not immediately clear what caused the incident, which happened around 8:30 p.m
The pass was now closed to traffic as rescue teams in helicopters were deployed to the scene, officials said.
The Salang Pass, one of the highest mountain highways in the world at around 12,000 feet and a 1.6 mile tunnel.
The pass runs through the Hindu Kush mountain range, which connects the capital Kabul to the north.
The Salang Pass, celebrated as a feat of engineering once completed, is often closed for days in winter due to accidents, heavy snowfalls and avalanches.
In 2010, avalanches in the Salang Pass killed more than 150 people.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6941759/killed-oil-tanker-explodes-tunnel/ At least 19 dead, including children, when oil tanker explodes in tunnel, trapping victims in vehicles