Karachi: At least 20 people, including 12 children, from the same family were killed and several others sustained injuries when a van carrying devotees fell into a deep ditch filled with flood water in Pakistan’s Sindh province, the police said.
The accident took place on Thursday night when the devotees were heading towards the revered Sufi shrine in Sehwan Sharif when the van fell into a 30-feet-wide ditch adjacent to the Indus Highway near Khairpur where floodwater had accumulated during the recent floods.
“All the passengers belonged to the same family and were visiting the shrine for ziarat,” the Dawn newspaper quoted the Deputy Commissioner Fariduddin Mustafa as saying.
Mustafa said that the van driver failed to see the barricades raised along the route.
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”There was a ditch adjacent to the highway where floodwater had accumulated during the recent floods.” According to the police, the bodies have been retrieved and shifted to Syed Abdullah Shah Institute Sehwan Sharif.
Meanwhile, the head of Syed Abdullah Shah Institute of Medical Sciences (SASIMS), Dr Moin Siddiqui, said that 20 bodies had been brought to the hospital.
He said the deceased included eight women, six girls, and six boys, adding that the bodies had not yet been identified.
”But they are from the same family,” Siddiqui confirmed, adding that the driver also hailed from Khairpur Mirs.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari expressed grief over the tragic accident.
Sindh and Balochistan – the worst-hit regions during the recent floods in Pakistan- witnessed a 784 percent and 496 percent increase in the monsoon deluge. The rain in these provinces broke the 30-year record for the month of July.