Health authorities said that the death toll from the fuel tanker accident in Salang tunnel has climbed to 31, as more remains were removed from the site and rescuers looked for survivors.
Initial reports were that at least 19 persons had died. Sharafat Zaman Amarkhail, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, stated that there were now 31 fatalities and 37 injuries.
After rolling over within the tunnel on Saturday night, December 17, an oil fuel tanker caught fire at around eight o’clock; domestic media said that the fire was brought on by the tanker’s technical issues.
The scorching fire in the tunnel made it difficult to remove the injured, with fumes billowing from the tunnel, according to sources, and the fire from the oil tanker spread like a sea of flames to other vehicles inside.
According to the Ministry of Public Works, the fire has been put out and the tunnel is being cleaned up. The ministry’s spokesperson, Hamidullah Misbah said that efforts are underway to reopen the Salang highway, which is now closed to traffic.
On the other hand, sources in the Salang district of Parwan province claimed that the devouring fire of the Salang tunnel resulted in 63 deaths and around 100 injuries.
According to sources, the operation teams have so far been unsuccessful in removing the bodies from the tunnel. The sources claim that the coal and oil-laden vehicles that the initial oil tanker fire ignited contributed to the lengthy blaze in the tunnel.
Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, extended his condolences for the explosion, stating he was greatly saddened to hear of the victims and injured in the Parwan province incident.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this tragic incident and pray for the quick recovery of the injured,” the Afghan leader wrote on his Twitter handle.