At least 13 people were killed and several others injured when a passenger van overturned and caught fire on the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) in the jurisdiction of Nooriabad police station on Saturday night, officials said.
The vehicle was carrying at least 20 people when it met the accident near the Lucky Cement factory located on the route. Out of the seven survivors, five were shifted to hospital, Additional IG Motorway Police Dr Aftab Pathan told Dawn.
He said efforts were being made to retrieve the bodies, while the survivors included the van driver and a child. The deceased could not be identified immediately.
Nooriabad Deputy Superintendent of Police Nazar Deeshak said the van was on its way to Karachi from Hyderabad when the accident took place 63 kilometres from Hyderabad.
“The driver is said to have applied brakes after the bonnet of a car in front of him broke away and hit the van,” AIG Pathan said.
According to DSP Deeshak, the van overturned and caught fire after taking a number of turns and bouncing off the road. He said the passengers' bodies were completely charred.
Edhi ambulances from Karachi and Edhi Home rushed to the spot, as did fire tenders to extinguish the fire.
The flow of vehicular traffic was suspended after the Motorway Police closed the Hyderabad-Karachi section of M-9.
Thousands of people lose their lives in traffic accidents across the country every year that are caused due to poor roads, badly maintained vehicles and reckless driving. Crashes killing dozens of people are not uncommon.
Earlier this year, six members of a family, including four children, were burned to death while five others suffered critical injuries after a fire broke out in a moving van in New Karachi area.