ISLAMABAD: Justice Helpline, a non-profit organization working for people surrounded by legal problems, on Monday requested the Supreme Court to take suo motu action over the Ahmedpur Sharqia incident, which claimed more than 200 lives. President Justice Helpline Advocate Nadeem Sheikh in his letter, which was sent to the Supreme Court, stated that had the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) ensured precautionary measures the incident would have not taken place. On June 25, a day before Eid, initially 153 people had been burnt to death while dozens of others injured after a fuel tanker overturned and exploded on main route of Ahmedpur Sharqia Bahawalpur. “I am writing this application/petition on behalf of those over more than 200 people who lost their lives after the collapsing of oil tanker on the National Highway at the Ahmedpur Sharqia area of the Bahawalpur district some 400km from Lahore,” the letter stated. It further stated that the oil tanker, which was overturned and caught fire, belonged to Shell Pakistan. “No safety equipment was found in the oil tanker in case of such haphazard,” it further stated. The letter claimed that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority had not maintained checks and balances to examine the safety measures of oil transportation. He prayed the top court to take suo motu action with further request to direct the OGRA officials, Ministry of Petroleum and the Shell Pakistan managing director for justification so that in the future such incidents may not occur. The overturned tanker was carrying 70,000 litres of fuel. So far, the death toll has increased to 205 from 153 people. The victims, who suffered burns, were shifted to different hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Most of the injured are in a critical state. According to locals, soon after the tanker was overturned a large number of people rushed to the spot to collect fuel. The area was engulfed in flames and most of the people while collecting the fuel were caught in the flames. Published in Daily Times, July 4th , 2017.