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Funeral prayers offered for 24 killed in Bela bus inferno

January 23, 2019

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Twenty-seven people, including women and children, burned to death when a Panjgur-bound bus collided with a truck near Lasbela Cross and caught fire. — Photo courtesy Ismail Sasoli
Twenty-seven people, including women and children, burned to death when a Panjgur-bound bus collided with a truck near Lasbela Cross and caught fire. — Photo courtesy Ismail Sasoli

Funeral prayers for 24 of the 27 people killed in a deadly road accident in Bela earlier this week were held in Balochistan's Panjgur area on Wednesday.

Twenty seven people, including women and children, burned to death when a Panjgur-bound bus collided with a truck near Lasbela Cross on Monday and caught fire, destroying both vehicles within seconds, leaving the bodies charred beyond recognition.

The ill-fated bus belonging to Jehanzeb Coach Service had left Karachi in the evening on Monday and met with the accident a few hours later near Lasbela Cross, around 3 kilometres from Bela City. The fire destroyed both the vehicles.

Moments after the collision, the coach's fuel tank caught fire and destroyed the coach, leaving only a few seconds for the passengers trapped inside to come out. Sources said the bus had only one door that made it difficult for the passengers to evacuate the vehicle. They added that the truck was carrying smuggled Iranian oil which caused a huge fire following the collision.

A total of 33 passengers, including women and children were on board, along with four members of the bus staff. Nearly half a dozen people were injured in the deadly collision. The bodies were shifted from Civil Hospital Bela to the Edhi morgue in Karachi.

The funeral prayers of 24 of the deceased were held at the Panjgur Tablighi Markaz Ground in the Khadabadan an area of Panjgur. The bodies of the three others killed in the accident were handed over to their families.

A case was registered against the owner of the bus and the unidentified driver under charges of murder and criminal negligence on Monday evening. The FIR said that the bus went out of control and collided with a truck after one of its tyres burst. It said the bus was in a dilapidated condition, its tyres were weak and it was overloaded at the time of the accident.

The police report stated that the driver of the truck also burned to death. Initially, 25 bodies had been recovered from the bus and one from the truck, whereas one of the injured succumbed to his burn wounds.

The Balochistan government on Tuesday announced Rs10 million in compensation for the families of the victims.