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Tanker fire kills seven

The explosion on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. (PTI)

Mumbai, March 22: Seven people were burnt alive and nine were injured when a tanker bound for the city overturned and exploded on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway near Dahanu in Thane district this afternoon, local police said.

The accident took place near the Charoti check post, about 100km from Thane city, when the tanker carrying a petroleum-derived product skidded, overturned and exploded in a ball of fire around 2.30pm.

The dead were yet to be identified but police said three of them were on board the tanker and four were pedestrians. The explosion also charred eight other vehicles and damaged a local hotel and some shops around it.

The area around the tanker was evacuated as a precaution and traffic on both sides of the national highway was stopped, causing a huge traffic snarl.

By 6pm, the fire brigade and highway authorities managed to douse the fire and tow the tanker away, opening the highway traffic partly.

“We have opened the highway now. The tanker also damaged some vehicles, and a local hotel, Hotel Apsara, but no one from the hotel is among the casualties. The bodies are badly charred and the identification process will take some time,” Thane superintendent of police (rural) Sangramsingh Nishandar said this evening.

The nine injured are admitted in the district hospital.