Aizawl: At least 4 people were killed and 18 sustained injuries when an oil tanker caught fire in Tuirial area on the outskirts of Mizoram’s capital city Aizawl on Saturday.

Mizoram Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said the conditions of five injured people are critical.

The death toll might go up as two of the injured persons were almost fully burnt and some others were also admitted to Intensive Care Units, another police officer said.

The incident occurred near Tuirial airfield, about 18 km east of Aizawl, when the oil tanker carrying about 22,000 litres of petrol was heading towards Champhai in the northeastern part of the state, DIGP Khiangte said. 

The oil tanker, which met with an accident and turned turtle on the highway at around 4.30 pm, caught fire around 6 pm when locals were drawing petrol oozing out from the tanker, he said.

Four people, including a woman and a 74-year-old senior citizen, had been charred to death on the spot, while 18 got burn injuries and five of them were critical, he said. 

The majority of the injured were admitted at three hospitals in Aizawl and a primary health centre at nearby Thingsul village in the Saitual district, he said.

He said two of the deceased hailed from Tuirial village and one each from Lamherh in Aizawl district and Thingsulthliah village in Saitual district.

Sources from Tuirial said a taxi and three motorcycles (two-wheeler) were also completely gutted in the fire. 

Chief minister Zoramthanga and other ministers and MLAs, including sports minister Rober Romawia Royte, visited the spot on Saturday night after the incident.

The chief minister condoled with the bereaved families and laid wreaths on the coffins of the victims, an official in the CMO said.

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