HAFIZABAD : At least 20 people died and 15 others got injured when a passenger bus caught fire after hitting a pick-up on the M3 motorway near Pindi Bhattian, Hafizabad.
The accident happened because the driver of the passenger bus fell asleep and his vehicle smashed into a pick-up that was carrying diesel drums. The bus suddenly caught fire. As a result, 20 passengers died and 15 sustained serious injuries.
The process of identifying the burnt passengers is still going on.
The bus was carrying 35-40 passengers and it was going to Karachi from Islamabad.
Hafizabad DPO Dr Fahad said that 15 passengers who died in the accident have been shifted to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital.
He said that the fire engulfed the bus shortly after it hit the pick-up. He said most of the injured are in critical condition.
According to Rescue 1122, its teams reached the venue within five minutes.
Among those who died in the accident, 6 members of the same family are also included, while those injured in the accident are from Karachi, Khairpur, Faisalabad, Jalalpur Bhattian, and Pindi Bhattian.
Hafizabad DSP Ahsan Zafar said that the passenger bus was burnt into ashes after crashing into a diesel vehicle.
People nearby tried to pull the passengers out of the bus by breaking windows.
The accident happened around 4:30 in the morning while the fire was brought under control after the hectic effort of an hour.
A surviving passenger in the vehicle said that the bus driver was changed at Rahim Yar Khan while the petrol of the vehicle started leaking near the M3 toll plaza on Pindi Bhattian.
Meanwhile, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi expressed sorrow over the loss of precious human lives due to the fire in a passenger coach near Pindi Bhattian.
The chief minister expressed heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the families of the deceased.
He also sought a report on the tragic incident from the administration and the police.
“The best treatment facilities should be provided to the injured,” he directed.
“The Punjab government equally shares the grief of the bereaved families,” he stated.