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Tanker fire in Kabul kills 7, injures 14

Tanker fire in Kabul kills 7, injures 14
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Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said on Sunday that an immense tanker fire in the capital city of Kabul killed seven people and injured another 14.

Tariq Arian, the Interior Ministry's spokesperson, said investigators looked through the remains of the blaze, the Associated Press reports.

According to Arian, the fire began after a spark ignited a fuel tanker and quickly took over other nearby tankers. Several homes and gas stations were also caught in the flames, the AP reports. Electricity to much of Kabul was knocked out due to the fire.

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“The first explosion sounded like a mine explosion,” truck driver Haji Mir said, the AP reports. “There were flames shooting from one truck and then a second truck exploded, and a third.” 

Many truck drivers blocked the roads leading to the northern area of Kabul where the flames began, demanding compensation from the government. It took firefighters several hours to bring the flames under control.

Local resident Obaidullah, who goes by one name, told the outlet that the fireballs from the explosion were enormous.

"Fire lit up the sky,” Obaidullah said. “Drivers were yelling that their co-drivers were stuck and were burning.”

Though there is currently no indication on whether the fire was an accident or sabotage, the AP notes that this incident occurred the same day that U.S. and NATO officially began the last phase of withdrawal from Afghanistan after almost 20 years.