KARACHI: The bodies of all 27 people who burned to death on Monday evening when a Panjgur-bound bus collided with a truck near Lasbela Cross and caught fire were shifted to Panjgur on Tuesday.

The families of the deceased did not allow the authorities to carry a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test for the identification of each victim after they were told that it could take weeks to complete the process.

Earlier, the bodies were shifted from hospital to the Edhi morgue, where a large number of family members of the deceased gathered in the morning.

Balochistan Minister for Social Welfare Mir Asadullah Baloch also arrived at the facility and met the victims’ relatives. He said the identification process of each body could take time as the samples would have to be sent to a laboratory in Lahore or Islamabad for a DNA test. “The families agreed to bury their loved ones without going into the process,” he added.

In its initial report, the minister said, the police suggested that the tragedy was caused by an accident. “However, we need to look into the elements that led to the tragic incident,” he said.

He said that all the victims were Panjgur residents who had come to Karachi for different purposes. “The provincial government has already announced compensation for the families of the victims,” he added.

Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation — which recovered the bodies from the site of the accident near Bela City and moved them to its Karachi facility — shared a few facts which put a big question mark over the safety measures, implementation of transport rules, and check on transportation of smuggled goods by authorities concerned, mainly between Balochistan and Sindh.

“What we came to know through our volunteers and people around the scene should also be investigated,” he said.

The bus, he added, actually hit the truck parked at the roadside. “It could have happened due to driver’s negligence or over speed, but that could not lead to such a deadly accident. The truck was carrying smuggled Iranian oil in a huge quantity which led to the explosion,” said Mr Edhi.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2019