Tuesday, 30 July 2013

17 killed in Pakistan bus accident

At least 17 people have been burned to death in northwest Pakistan when a gas cylinder exploded on a bus after it collided with a truck.

The bus was carrying passengers to the city of Bannu when the collision happened on a highway around 140km from Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

"The gas cylinder installed in the bus leaked after the accident and it caught fire," said Dil Nawaz Khan, a senior government official in Karak city, where the accident happened.

"All 18 people on board were burnt and only one passenger could survive. His position is also critical."

Hospital officials said six women and children were also among the dead.

"We received 17 dead bodies including the bodies of three children and as many women. Most of the dead bodies are badly mutilated and could not be identified," Sarfraz Khan, a doctor at Karak's public hospital, told AFP.

One of the witnesses, who was coming to Karak from Peshawar, said when they reached Tor Dhand area they saw both the vehicles on fire while the truck driver and cleaner were running towards bushes.

“No one dared to go near the inferno,” he said, adding that they called the fire brigade which reached the spot after 90 minutes. “Till then the fire had gone out and the bodies had been taken to hospital,” he said.

Medical Superintendent Dr Dil Faraz Khan said 17 bodies along with an injured person were brought to the hospital, where he declared an emergency. He said he later transferred the injured man to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar due to his critical condition after administering first aid.

“All the bodies are charred and disfigured beyond recognition,” he added. However they found two CNICs on the bodies which revealed that the passengers were from Bannu.

The doctor said the bodies covered in shrouds were lying in the hospital. “We have performed postmortems, which reveal that most of the passengers were killed due to blazing fire, which erupted after the explosion of CNG cylinder,” he added.

An official of city police, Shafiq Khattak, said he rushed to the spot along with other police officials after the accident. He explained that due to difficulty in identifying the bodies they were contacting vehicle stands in Bannu, DI Khan, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar to identify the vehicle owners and then reach the relatives. “So far we haven’t filed the case as we are trying to identify the bodies,” he added.

Pakistan has one of the world's worst records for fatal traffic accidents, blamed on poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving.

Tuesday 30 July 2013




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