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Shell pays compensation to victims of Pakistani oil fire

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday that it made full payment in damages and compensation to the victims of an oil tanker fire in Pakistan that killed 215 people last month, hours after Pakistan's oil and gas regulator threatened legal action.

The tragedy took place after a fuel tanker crashed and started leaking on the side of a highway and hundreds of people from a nearby village rushed to the scene to collect the spilled fuel. They were engulfed in flames when the spill ignited.

Pakistan subsequently asked Shell to pay $2.4 million, or $9,500 to the families of each person killed.

On Wednesday, Shell Pakistan Limited in a statement said it made full payment to Pakistan's Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, which would distribute the money among the victims.

The latest development came after Shell said it was in discussions with Pakistani authorities over the "means by which this financial assistance can appropriately reach the injured and the families who have lost their loved ones." It did not specify the amount it planned to pay.

Imran Ghazanvi, a spokesman for Pakistan's oil and gas regulator, confirmed they received about $2.4 million on Wednesday afternoon. He said their probe found the company responsible for the disaster. The tanker was not fit to transport oil and the driver's license was invalid, he added.

Shell Pakistan Limited had already paid a $96,000 fine over the disaster.

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