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THE errant truck lies at the site of the accident.—White Star
THE errant truck lies at the site of the accident.—White Star

KARACHI: A woman was among three people that died while two children were injured when a fast-moving truck hit them under the KPT interchange on Thursday, according to officials and witnesses.

The 10-wheel truck, whose two tyres burst, hit a road island and overturned, leaving a motorcyclist and two passers-by dead and two children of the motorcyclist injured, the police said. The truck driver managed to escape after the fatal accident, added the officials.

The deceased were identified as Robin Mushtaq, 40, Hameeda Ghulam Hussain, 30, and Khan Mohammad, 34, while the injured were identified as nine-year-old Amal Robin and seven-year-old Zaidman Robin.

At least 17 people have been killed and dozens of others injured in major accidents in the city over the past two weeks, putting a question mark on violation of traffic rules by both public transport and goods transport as well as road safety measures. Overspeeding, overtaking and overloading are often blamed for fatal accidents but lately, the reconstruction of thoroughfares being carried out simultaneously at a number of places without provision of alternative routes has emerged as one of the key factors behind the rising death toll within a short span of time.

At least 17 killed over two-week period on city’s deadly roads

Traffic police have blamed the civic administration for not taking them “on board” before launching about two dozen projects that not only cause traffic congestion but also result in fatal accidents.

Speaking to Dawn, SSP Traffic in Korangi Aijaz Hashmi said the truck (TKY-179) of Rehmania and Co was carrying goods of Nazir and Co Shipping, forwarded by Talha Ashraf and Talha, from Port Qasim to Karachi Shipyard at Karachi Port Trust. When the truck reached Qayyumabad on its way from the main Korangi Industrial Area Road, two of its tyres burst, the SSP said, adding that the truck hit a road island and overturned.

As a result, one motorcyclist, Robin Mushtaq, his two sons, Amal Robin and Zaidman Robin, two passers-by, Hameeda and Khan Mohammad, received injuries. They were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where Robin, Hameeda and Khan were pronounced dead on arrival.

Dr Seemin Jamali, the head of JPMC’s emergency department, said that the condition of the injured brothers was out of danger.

As the accident caused traffic jam on the main road, heavy machinery was called in to remove the truck from the road, said Landhi SP Arif Aslam.

SSP Hashmi said that the truck, which was operated by Submarine and Co Shipment for GUW, was impounded by the Korangi Industrial Area police. The police also seized a driving licence from the impounded truck in which the driver’s name was mentioned as Khan Afsar.

In reply to a question about the ban on plying of heavy vehicles in daytime, SSP Hashmi told Dawn that up to 10-wheel vehicles were allowed to ply on roads during the day also.

Separately, DIG Traffic Asif Aijaz Shaikh told the media that he would recommend to the authorities concerned to ban such 10-wheel vehicles during daytime. But he quickly added that since such vehicles also carried essential goods, such as medicines and food, the decision could be taken only after taking the transporters into confidence.

Taking notice of the incident, the chief minister directed IG police A.D. Khowaja to get the traffic cleared and ensure arrest of the driver. The police chief subsequently directed DIG Traffic to take immediate steps to ease traffic congestion on the road and sought a detailed report from DIG East.

On Wednesday, three persons, including the driver, were killed while a man and his teenage son was injured when a fast-moving taxi fell from the under-construction interchange of Lyari Expressway. Earlier on Tuesday, five persons, including one woman, were killed and 27 passengers injured when a fast-moving bus hit a concrete pillar of a toll plaza on the National Highway.

At least six people, including five women, were killed in two accidents on the under-construction University Road near the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology earlier this month.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2017