At least 42 people, including women and children, were killed on Sunday after a speeding passenger bus crashed into a pillar of a bridge and fell into a ravine in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, according to officials.
The bus was carrying 48 people from provincial capital Quetta to Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, when it crashed into the pillar and subsequently careened into a ravine before catching fire in the Lasbela area, Assistant Commissioner Lasbela Hamza Anjum said.
”The speeding bus crashed into the pillar of a bridge while taking a U-turn near Lasbela and fell into a ravine and then caught fire,” he told the media.
Anjum said till now 42 bodies have been recovered from the accident site.
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Only three people, including a child and a woman, could be rescued alive, the official said, adding that the death toll could rise as the injured were in critical condition.
”There were a total of 48 people on the passenger coaster,” he said.
He said the bodies were charred beyond recognition and DNA testing will be done for the identification of the deceased.
Police and rescue officials were busy in pulling out bodies and shifting them to the nearby hospitals, according to officials.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah expressed grief over the tragedy and extended condolences to the bereaved families.
Such horrific road accidents happen frequently in Pakistan especially in areas where roads and highways need repairs and no proper safety measures are followed while awarding licenses and permits to commercial vehicles.
Passenger buses are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn, meaning high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents are common.