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KARACHI: Around half a dozen people, including a girl and two siblings, were killed and three others critically injured when a pick-up van collided head on with a fast-moving truck on the Malir Link Road near Kathore Mor on Tuesday, said police and rescue workers.

The van was completely destroyed in the early morning accident, which was believed to have been caused after the van driver swerved the vehicle to avoid a deep pothole in the road.

The deceased were identified as 12-year-old Noman and his five-year-old brother; the van driver, Abdul Malik, 50, and 23-year-old Saima but the two other bodies remained unidentified, according to the area police.

“There is no eyewitness to the accident,” said Steel Town SHO Inspector Mujtaba Bajwa. “The people, police and rescue workers all reached the spot after the accident. But we have very strong reason to believe that the accident occurred due to a deep pothole in the main road, as the pick-up was moving on the same portion of the road.

“The driver of the van might not have been aware of this pothole and in an attempt to avoid it he might have swerved the vehicle that then collided with the truck coming from the opposite direction.”

He said the truck driver managed to speed away following the fatal accident.

The SHO said the area people called charity workers and the police for rescue.

“Our initial probe suggests that all the victims hailed from different parts of rural Sindh. They had come to Karachi on Monday and were on their way back home in a rented pick-up,” said SHO Bajwa.

“We had to call heavy machinery at the site of the accident to [extract] the bodies. The parts of the van were finally cut with the help of the machinery and the bodies were retrieved. They were later shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for medico-legal formalities. Following the autopsy, the bodies were shifted to the Edhi morgue.

“Later, the families of four of the deceased identified them and took away their bodies, while the remaining two bodies have yet to be identified.”

Three other passengers, who were critically injured in the accident, also remained unidentified. They were under treatment at the JPMC, the police said.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2017