41 dead as passenger coach falls into ravine in Lasbela

LASBELA (INP): At least 41 people were killed after a passenger coach fell into a ravine in Balochistan’s Lasbela on Sunday morning, according to officials.

Lasbela Assistant Commissioner Hamza Anjum, while confirming the incident, that the vehicle, with nearly 48 passengers on board, was travelling from Quetta to Karachi.

“Due to speeding, the coach crashed into the pillar of a bridge while taking a U-turn near Lasbela. The vehicle subsequently careened into a ravine and then caught fire,” he said.

Anjum added that three people, including a child and a woman, have been rescued alive. However, one of the injured persons succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.

The officer feared that the number of casualties could further increase to 48.

He added that the bodies recovered from the wrecked bus were unidentifiable and DNA testing will be done for the identification of the deceased.

Ramshackle highways, lax safety measures and reckless driving contribute to Pakistan’s dire road safety record.

Passenger buses are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn, meaning high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents are common.

According to World Health Organisation estimates, more than 27,000 people were killed on Pakistan’s roads in 2018.

In June last year, at least 22 people were killed, including nine members of a family, when a passenger van fell into a ravine near Qila Saifullah district of northern Balochistan.

The van, carrying 23 passengers and en route to Zhob from Loralai, fell into the 200-foot-deep ravine when it reached the Akhtarzai area.

The lone survivor — a 13-year-old boy — was taken to hospital in a critical condition, said Hafiz Muhammad Qasim Kakar, the deputy commissioner of Qila Saifullah.

Balochistan CM takes notice of Bela Road accident, seeks report in 24 hours: Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo took notice of Bela area of Lasbela Road mishap which left 41 dead and four injured and directed concerned official to submit report in 24 hours on Sunday.

He also expressed his sorrow over the losses of precious lives in the incident and the increase in traffic accidents on Quetta-Karachi Highways.

He also instructed the Commissioner Kalat Division to review the situation of the incident and to submit report of the accident in 24 hours.

The CM also directed Commission Kalat Regional Transport Department to take measure to prevent road mishap which increased on National Highway Karachi-Quetta so that protection of passengers lives would be ensured during traveling.

He said that strict action would be taken against over speeding vehicles and those drivers involved in violation of terrific saying that implementation of traffic rule was essential for preventing of accident on National Highway.

Drivers and transport companies guilty of speeding should be punished and fined for interest of traffic.

President, PM express deep grief over loss of lives

ISLAMABAD (INP): President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday expressed their deep grief and sorrow over loss of lives in a tragic bus accident in Lasbela, Balochistan.

The president and the prime minister expressed their condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the high ranks of the departed souls, President Secretariat and PM Office Media Wings said in separate press releases. They also prayed for the early recovery of the injured people.

The president stressed upon taking of practical steps to avert the occurrence of such incidents in the future.

The prime minister directed for provision of all available medical facilities to the injured ones.

At least 40 people including children and women died when a passenger coach plunged into a ravine near Chanki Stop area of Lasbela on early Sunday morning.

A Karachi-bound passenger coach from Quetta carrying over 47 passengers plunged into a gorge and caught fire. As a result, 40 passengers, including women and children were burnt to death on the spot.