Road accident kills 35 in Hub

Updated Mar 22, 2014 08:34pm

HUB/BALOCHISTAN: A collision between two passenger buses and a petrol tanker killed 35 people in southwest Pakistan on Saturday, officials said, with many of the victims being burned to death.

The accident took place as a bus travelling to Karachi collided with the tanker in the early hours of this morning in Gadani in Hub district on the coast of Balochistan province, senior administration official Akbar Haripal told AFP.

“The bus and the tanker had a head-on collision and the oil tanker turned over, but the situation got worse when a second passenger bus coming from behind rammed into the first bus as it skidded on the oil spilled on the road,” Haripal said.

The first bus then caught fire, he said, adding that 35 people were killed, most of them burning to death while trapped inside the bus, and 30 were injured.

Local police chief Ahmed Nawaz added to Haripal’s comments, saying the second bus and truck piled up onto the two vehicles and all four vehicles caught fire.

Nawaz said 25 people were reported to have died at the scene while 30 injured victims were taken out of the destroyed and burned buses.

Most of the victims, including women and children, were severely burned and were transported to Karachi. Ten of the injured died on the way, raising the death toll to 35, he said.

Amir Sultan, another senior administration official, confirmed the incident and the toll, saying that the bodies were burned “beyond recognition”.

“These passenger buses travelling between Balochistan and Karachi have automatic hydraulic doors and their windows are sealed because the buses are air conditioned, so most of the passengers were trapped inside,” he said.

Sultan said the injured were being taken to Karachi after receiving first aid at a government-run medical dispensary because there was no hospital in the area.

Meanwhile, officials of the Pakistan Navy said that contact had been established with six personnel who had been travelling in the area and were also reported missing since the time of the traffic accident.

The personnel were travelling from Ormara towards Karachi when contact with them was lost.

The officials confirmed that all personnel were safe.

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


'An accident not an act of sabotage'


Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Malik Baloch has said that the Hub tragedy was an accident rather than an act of sabotage.

Speaking in Balochistan Assembly on Saturday evening, the chief minister however stated that an inquiry committee headed by a senior police officer was formed to probe into the incident.

He dispelled the impression regarding delayed response of the government and asserted that the authorities were quick at the scene to shift the injured to hospital and to put out the flames.

"We are really shocked and saddened by the incident," the chief minister said.

He assured that as per policy of the government, compensation would be paid to the relatives of the victims.

Dr Baloch stated that a strategy would be evolved along with the federal government to stop oil and diesel smuggling from neighboring Iran.

"Iranian diesel and oil loaded in buses caused the incident," the chief minister said, adding that the incident would be taken up with security agencies.

Additional reporting by Syed Ali Shah


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Comments (12) (Closed)


Ajamal
Mar 22, 2014 03:06pm

NHA peronnel's criminal negligence resulted in this massive tragedy. Diesel and petrol stored on the passenger bus roof became burning fuel for the poor's bodies. Local administration of Karachi is also responsible where this fuel is smuggled.

SYEDA SARA BATOOL
Mar 22, 2014 04:14pm

very sad incident

Sultan Ahmed/
Mar 22, 2014 04:55pm

Fuel is being smuggled by the persons have underground concerned and dealing. In the cities,it can be seen easily petrol and gas being sold openly and the authority concerned has folded their eys with illegal gratification. The tragic incident taken place in Hub is result of negligency of the local administration Badly broken roads plays a role in such accident,Narrow ways need widening

Sultan Ahmed
Mar 22, 2014 06:15pm

No doubt,,it is tragic incident which has taken 35 lives there are chances of more deaths because some other injured are in critical condition.With so sorry to say that it is result of negligency on behalf of some concerned quarters.It needs fair and impartial investigation.

Sultan Ahmed
Mar 22, 2014 06:33pm

According the independent and reliable sources,large number of people are involved in the business of oil and gasoline,and local law inforcement agencies are failed to control on it faderal and provincial government should draw attention on it and strictly ban on this illegal trade.

Nasser
Mar 22, 2014 06:50pm

Pakistan is one of the worst countries - on most counts. There is no law and order because no one is accountable; not just the politicians and the super-rich.

Ghulam Rasool Abbasi
Mar 22, 2014 10:03pm

May the departed souls rest in peace and May Allah give the bereaved families the courage to bear this irreparable loss(Ameen).This tragic accident has devoured ruthlessly reportedly 35 human lives and so saddening that men, women and children alike were trapped in hydraulic doors and sealed windows and burned to death, all because of the negligence on the part of Government in terms of poor road conditions with carpet eroding, failure of law enforcement agencies to check oil smuggling, non-availability or narrowness of roads and apparently absent traffic rules and regulations . Such tragedies will continue to recur until or unless the drastic reforms are made , legislated and implemented.....

syed wasim haider
Mar 22, 2014 10:41pm

This is a national tragedy, height of inefficiency from NHA, Check Posts on the way. Let us see who has the guts to take the responsibility or it will be another Thar like case. At least 35 families is going to suffer at the hands of inefficient authorities. For God sake wake up do some good for the common people.

Ghulam Rasool Abbasi
Mar 22, 2014 11:53pm

May the departed soul rest in peace and May Allah give the bereaved families the courage to bear this irreparable loss(Ameen). This tragic accident claiming reportedly 35 human lives and leaving the life long scars on the ones who survived the accident,is worst of its kind, which left the passengers trapped inside the hydraulic doors and sealed windows, allowing neither anyone from inside nor from outside in the midst of the flames . This is indeed the humiliation of the human civilization that we claim to have inherited and declare proudly to be the custodians of the same........This gruesome tragedy can be linked with the negligence of the Government in terms of failure to check the oil smuggling and total fiasco in traffic rules and regulations , whether that is unlicensed driving, overloading of the passengers or goods, over speeding or narrowness of the roads,whatever evil , you name it, is flourishing on the roads in Pakistan......so called investigations are announced, commissions formed and when the result is made public, the fault is tactically attributed to the ones , who remain no more to answer and in this way the chapter is closed or intervening incident of the same gravity grips the attention.......the story never ends so these road accidents will not come to end until or unless the laws are ,which are available , implemented for the safety and security of the poor people.

Usman Khan
Mar 23, 2014 07:57am

Doors locked, window sealed...This is beyond stupidity, the bus company's owner must be charged for not providing emergency exits in the bus, the families must be reimbursed

Naseem Altaf
Mar 23, 2014 11:28am

@Usman Khan: Each & every bus must have two doors for passengers ,besides the door (if any) for passengers. Flammable materials must not be allowed in passenger buses. Each bus must be equipped with two fire extinguishers. The fitness certificate of the bus must be given after strict periodic checking/tests of the vehicle The driver's license should be issued after strict professional t sets The compensation amounts given to the affectees must be recovered from the bus company and the owner's of the vehicle.

theone
Mar 24, 2014 09:20pm

@Naseem Altaf:

Very sad tragedy indeed, but what's even sadder is what you just mentioned will NEVER ever happen Pakistan. Even if it is somewhat implemented, do you think anyone will follow rules? Bribes are being handed out left and right. A kid can wrongfully yet "legally" get a commercial driver's driver's licence, start driving a bus full of 30 or more people, and NO ONE would even care. - That's how bad the situation is. Once law and order, funding, and courtesy starts forming - only then we will see better law enforcement, roads, and decent people. But who am I kidding, like that will ever happen.